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.
I read the second instalment of Scott Westerfeld's amazing Leviathan trilogy, Behemoth, for Simon and Schuster audiobooks.
Here is a video of Scott Westerfeld and I chatting about the book.
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 read Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston, for Penguin Audiobooks. It's entirely in verse and was really fun to do.
I was the host of the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City. Here's a little film I made about the evening.
I did a version of I Bought A Blue Car Today, wth some new songs and materials and renamed Alan Cumming:Uncut at Joe's Pub on January 11th.
Of course it was partly 'new year, new title', but mostly it was that I was so bored of telling the story of why the show and the album was so called that made me come up with another title. (I still did the tell the story though, in the course of telling this very story that I was bored of telling!)
Back by popular demand! We made a return visit to the Geffen Playhouse and performed the latest version of I Bought A Blue Car Today for a week.
This was one of the most surreal mornings of my year. I was drawn through the streets of NYC aboard the M&M's Broadway float, and then sang That's Life live on national television, all part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
I returned to the Sydney Opera House for five more shows and also went to Brisbane to do one night at the Powerhouse. This time the band consisted of Lance Horne on piano, Rachel Maio on cello and me! It was a really paired down version of the show but I really liked it. I have always enjoyed singing with the cello, and it made the songs even more emotionally charged with my voice being one of only three sound sources onstage. I was sort of dreading it but I really came to love this way of doing the show. And of course, I love the aussies!