I performed with Liza Minnelli at the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove on Fire Island. Daniel Nardicio had asked me to do a show as part of his Legends season of concerts at the Ice Palace, and then later he called me up and asked if I would mind a) having a guest star perform with me and b) if it was Liza!
I love Liza. We met in 1998 when she came to see me in Cabaret on Broadway. Afterwards, in my dressing room, the first words she ever spoke to me were 'Alan, I want to be your friend forever.'
We worked together shortly thereafter when we perofmed in a Kander and Ebb tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors. A few years later we recorded a duet, Baby It's Cold Outside for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the 9/11 Fund. We have remained friends and now have a new bond through having done this amazing night together. It was the hottest, sweatiest evening of the summer but we both had a blast and something really special happened. I think people saw how much we love each other and what fun we were having, and it was infectious.
I did quite a few cabaret concerts in March. I went to Kansas City to peform at the gala for the opening of Like Me Lighthouse, a new LGBT center. Then I did a concert at the Alice Tully Hall for the Lincoln Center, another at XL Lounge which was a benefit for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and several appearances at galas including the Public Theatre's at Joe's Pub and the Lunchbox Fund.
At all of these I was accopmpanied in all senses of the word by Lance Horne
Finally, about 9 years after the book first came out, I recorded the audiobook of my debut novel, Tommy's Tale
In the spring of 2011 I performed my cabaret show I Bought A Blue Car Today in Pittsburgh, Palm Springs, NYC, Atlanta and Chicago as well as a couple of shows aboard an Atlantis cruise ship in the Carribean!
I wrote this article for Black Book magazine...
I finally took my cabaret show home.
I did three performances of I Bought A Blue Car Today at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the Assembly Hall, the historic venue on the Mound, the former home of the Church of Scotland and the Scottish parliament. There is a statue of John Knox in the courtyard, and I wondered (aloud) during the show what he would make of me and what I had to say!
In many ways, it was a full circle experience for me. I cut my teeth at the Edinburgh Fringe as a young drama student doing cabaret in the mid eighties, with Victor and Barry. They went on to become the festival darlings for many years. But I hadn't performed on the Fringe since 1991, and so coming back with a cabaret of my own was a really amazing feeling. I'm older, wiser and ballsier, and finally able to share it with my homeland in a show that has so much to do with my Scottishness both in content and in the style of performance. So this was good times.
Here's a little report from NY1 about my run in Edinburgh.
In July performed my cabaret show in California at the Broad Stages in Santa Monica and at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, and then back on the east coast at Fire Island's Whyte Hall.
For reasons too complicated to list, i.e., I can't remember, the SF show was entitled I Bought A Blue Car Today and the Santa Monica and Fire Island ones were Alan Cumming: Uncut.
I took a trimmed down version of my cabaret show (me, Lance Horne on piano and Yair Evnine on cello and guitar) uptown to Feinstein's, for the first of a two week run.
Initially I felt I wasn't the right choice for such a venue, and maybe I'm not, but what is the right choice anyway?! All I know is, I really enjoyed the challenege of taking my songs and my opinions and stories to a demographic that hadn't neccesarily sought me out. It felt actually really exciting, and kept me on my toes both physically and intellectually. So, another of those 'Don't judge a book by its cover, cos maybe it's not the book but they way you read it or the way it reads you, that matters!' learning curves.
I don't put quotes from reviews up on this blog, but please forgive me this once, as the New York Times called me 'a modern day Noel Coward'! I mean, come on!. It doesn't get much better than that.
I wrote this article for the April issue of OUT
I was the host of the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City. Here's a little film I made about the evening.