Few icons command the kind of solemn respect in the queer community like Judy Garland. Her life and artistic legacy remain one of the great Hollywood stories–one so complex and varied, hardly any performers have dared try to retell it.Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is well aware that walking a mile in Judy’s red slippers is a bold move, but that didn’t stop him from recreating her iconic 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall in all its glory back in 2006.The show — Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall — was a hit (well, minus one famous critic whose opinions are hard to ignore), and inspired a live album of the same name and similar concerts across the globe.In honor of what would have been Judy’s 100th birthday on June 10, Wainwright is revisiting the Carnegie Hall concert through a series of performances at City Winery in both New York City (through June 10) and Chicago (June 16-17).

Plus, a new album just dropped called Rufus Does Judy at Capital Studios in which Wainwright revisits several Judy classics.We caught up with him to talk Judy, Liza, and whether gay guys’ taste in music has gotten any better.What first drew you to Judy as a performer and to her 1961 Carnegie Hall performance in particular?I’ve been a fan of Judy since I was a child.

I’m almost 50, and for us older gentlemen — you know, we were little kids before the VHS even existed — so any kind of old movie that was on TV was a big event, and the whole family would gather around.