To spice up his solo tour, Rufus Wainwright is visiting places he's never been - like Tel Aviv. The 35-year-old singer/songwriter's theatrical pop invokes everything from Elton John-like songwriting craft to Tin Pan Alley, folk and cabaret. His illustrious, grand career began with the release of his self-titled debut album, released to critical acclaim in 1998. The son of '70s folk icons Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (of the McGarrigle Sisters), he was raised in Montreal by his mother following his parents' divorce. By the age of 13, he was playing piano and touring with his mother, aunt Anna and sister Martha. "Oh yes, I heard a lot of folk music growing up," he says with a laugh. "I went to a lot of folk festivals and hung around with people like Emmylou Harris and Peggy Seeger [Pete's sister] and her family." He had less contact with his father, whose wry, topical folk songs like "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road" and an ode to his baby son, "Rufus is a Tit Man." Wainwright began performing in clubs and recording demos, finding himself attracted to music of classic American performers like Judy Garland and Al Jolson. By the early 2000s, he was an established cult entity, endearing himself to a younger generation with his version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" from the film Shrek. Mr. Wainright plays Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium on November 26 and Reading 3 the following night. For show times and ticketing call (03) 604-5555.