Newsmakers: Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright is back at Carnegie Hall, only not with Judy Garland this time. His Christmas show includes his mother, his aunt and his sister. He spoke with Nicki Gostin:

Whose idea is the show?
Definitely my mom's idea, 100 percent. In fact, it's really the Kate McGarrigle Christmas Show.

Is it a way for the family to get extra money for presents?
Oh, no! It's a way to give a Christmas present without having to go shopping. One other thing about the show: there is a charity aspect, for cancer. My mom's been struggling with that for a couple of years, so we're raising money for all the great care she's got in Canada.

Don ' t they have nationalized health care?
They do, but they still need money.

You ' ve lived in Canada and the U.S. Which has the better healthcare system?
At the end of the day, if it's free it's better. There are a lot of obstacles but eventually you get what you need if you fight really hard. That's better than being completely wiped out.

Is it weird working with Mom?
No, I've worked with my mom all my life. That being said, yes, it's completely weird.

Your sister, Martha, is also in the show. Does your mom favor her?
No, no. I think that she gets along with us both in completely different ways. Martha and her are bosom buddies, they'll cook and talk. Me and mom go to the opera together.

They do say there ' s nothing better than a gay son.
My mother has definitely profited from that legend.

Are you still with your German boyfriend, Jorn?
Yeah, we're happily together. After the show, when I'll be completely horrified and sickened by my family, I'm going to go to Germany for Christmas for the first time. We're going to go skiing in Austria, and on New Year's Eve on the stroke of midnight we'll dance to Strauss's "The Blue Danube" in the snow.

Do you have lots of famous friends?
I do. Elton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon.

Do you have fancy dinner parties?
I try to, but I don't like to clean up very much.

So hire some help.
I'm not quite that fancy.

Do you at least have a cleaning lady?
I'm just really lazy. Too lazy to phone the cleaning lady. But I do have a German boyfriend. He can't help cleaning. Recently he came back from a long trip and he kissed me and immediately went and cleaned the toilet.


It's tough to slam J. K. Rowling in this season of giving—she's donating the profits from latest book "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" to charity. But really, the word "book" is a bit of a stretch. With nearly two-inch margins and a jumbo font spread over 111 pages, it's more like a brochure. For up to $100. Paul Newman's salad dressing never felt this phoned in.


Kid Rock got 80 hours of community service for beating up a man at a Waffle House in Georgia, but he really got mad when Judge Alvin Wong ruled the rocker's USO tours didn't count toward his sentence. Instead of taking the "slap in the face" in stride, Rock slapped back—and posted Wong's address, e-mail and phone number on his blog. Kids these days.


Nicole Kidman is one of Hollywood's biggest actresses, which is funny because she hasn't had a big movie in a really long time. Her latest, "Australia," may become her most expensive flop yet, though it's got plenty of competition:

' The Stepford Wives '
$59.5 million (DOMESTIC)
THE 2004 robotic remake didn't remake its $90 million budget. Oops.

' Bewitched '
$63 million
In 2005, she twitched her nose as Samantha. Still no box-office magic.

' The Invasion '
$15 million
This alien adventure with Daniel Craig was one of the biggest bombs of '07.

' The Golden Compass '
$70 million
Based on the bestselling novel—it's like "Narnia!" And yet, nobody came.

' Australia '
$15 million (FIRST WEEKEND)
The $130 million epic underwhelmed all over, even (yikes) Down Under.