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I was asked by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to do a new piece based on the exhibition they had running by the German painter Max Beckmann. Both Beckmann's work and life are fascinating so I had a lot of great source material, but I also wanted to show some personal connections between him and me, and quite surprisingly, I found there was a lot.
It was nerve-wracking to do a whole new show, especially after doing Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs for so long, but me and my band-mates - Lance Horene Eleanor Norton and Alon Ilsar - had a great time.
I also DJ'd a Club Cumming party afterwards!
I hosted the 2016 International Emmy Awards, which took place in NYC on Monday 21st November in the Hilton hotel, the same venue Donald Trump chose for his party on election night two weeks prior. This fact did not go unmentioned.
You can see a Reuters report about it here
On Monday November 7th I sang a couple of songs with Chita Rivera in her solo debut at Carnegie Hall. Chita is a legend and a total doll and I was truly honoured to be a part of her show. I sang The Apple Doesn't Fall Very Far From The Tree from The Rink and then Nowadays from Chicago, the latter of which also saw me busting some Bob Fosse moves which Chita taught me!
It was a great night. Andy Karl, Javier Munoz and the New York Gay Men's Chorus.
Here's a little highlight reel of the evening
On September 13th, my third book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams was released. Subtitled My Life In Stories and Pictures, it is a collection of essays and photographs I took, literal snapshots from my very varied and wonderful, blurry life.
Here's the official blurb:
A magical concoction of the mischievous, tender, whimsical, and debauched real-life adventures of Alan Cumming, told in his own words and pictures. Described by the New York Times as “a bawdy countercultural sprite” and named one of the most fun people in show business by Time magazine, Alan Cumming is a genuine quadruple threat—an internationally acclaimed, award-winning star of stage, television, and film, as well as a New York Times best-selling author whose real-life vivacity, wit, and charm shine through every page of his third book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams. In these forty-five picture essays, Cumming recounts his real-life adventures (and often, misadventures), illustrated by his own equally entertaining photographs. From an awkward bonding session with Elizabeth Taylor to poignant stories about his family and friends to some harsh words of wisdom imparted by Oprah that make up the title of this collection, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams is as eclectic, enchanting, and alive as its author.
I hosted the Daily Front Row's Fashion Media Awards in NYC during new York Fashion week. My old chum Cory Bond was my beautiful assistant and a good time was had by all. Winners and presenters at this year's ceremony included Glenda Bailey from Harper's Bazaar, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Gigi Hadid, Marc Jacobs and Carine Roitfeld.
Over Labor Day weekend I flew to Beirut for a mission with the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. I toured Lebanon meeting people who have been displaced because of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. It was an eye-opening experience for many reasons, but mostly because I realised how much the language of fear and xenophobia was being used all round the world, and at its root are millions of people who just want to go home and are afraid of the same things we are. These people were so resilient, as were the people of Lebanon who are dealing with almost a third of their population being made up of refugees. I came back to the USA and started my book tour and was able to talk a lot about what I had seen and my belief that America needs to do more, as a responsible and compassionate world power, to help these people, instead of shunning, shaming and falsely labelling them.
You can help too by visiting UNHCR.org
At the same time as shooting the NBC First Look on the Hebrides, I also made an hour long documentary for Scottish Television entitled Alan Cumming's Edge of Scotland.
My dog Lal and I travel through the Western Isles meeting amazing characters and seeing stunning sights along the way. When this was broadcast in Scotland in February 2017, Lala literally captured the hearts of a nation!
I joined up with the lovely George Oliphant again and made a First Look show for NBC about the Outer Hebrides. This was shot at the same time as I made Alan Cumming's Edge of Scotland for STV, so I was literally shooting the same thing twice some days!
On 7 nights after Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs at EIF, I threw Club Cumming parties. I was DJ, my band - Lance Horne, Eleanor Norton and Stuart Semple - played, we had guests including Jesus, Brian Cox, Jonathan Mills and Frances Thorburne, games and much, much fun...
I returned to my homeland to perform Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs at the Hub for the entire month of the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2016. It was a really amazing month and such a joy to perform the show in Edinburgh, where I first performed at the Fringe Festival in 1984 with my friend Forbes Masson in The Victor and Barry Show
My performance of Alan Cumming Songs Sappy Songs at the Smith Center in Las vegas was recorded by PBS and an edited version appeared as part of their Arts Fall Festival.
Whist in Las Vegas to do my Sappy Songs show and record it for PBS, I also hosted the North American hair Styling Awards and I had a abolute hoot!
I co-hosted an episode of Live with Kelly on July 26th!
I showed my support for Hillary Clinton by taking part in Elizabeth Banks' video featuring the support of many other celebrities for Hillary. Even my dog Jerry took part!
I am playing Sam in the film After Louie, directed by Vincent Gagliostro and written by Vincent Gagliostro and Anthony Johnston. The movie explores the contradictions of modern gay life and follows Sam as he deals with his struggles from the past and the uncertain future.
I went to Israel with Lea DeLaria to be an ambassador for Tel Aviv LGBT Pride!
I took part in the PETA campaign to highlight veganism, cruelty in the dairy industry and to celebrate Pride 2016!
I played Ted Tinling in Battle of the Sexes, the true story of the 1973 tennis match between the number one tennis player at the time Billie Jean King and the former champion Bobby Riggs (played by Emma Stone and Steve Carell respectively). The movie was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and written by Simon Beaufoy.