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Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams Open On Broadway in ‘Cabaret:’ REVIEW

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A decade after ending its six-year run on Broadway, directors Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s acclaimed revival of Cabaret returns to Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54, where it opened on April 24. Stepping back into his Tony-Award-winning turn as the Emcee, Alan Cumming reigns over the evening with an unshakable carnal magnetism, while Michelle Williams makes a brave Broadway debut with a deeply felt, if less than iconic performance as Sally Bowles.

Cabaret - Willlkommen Cumming1464rAs it was then, the theatre is transformed into something closer to its nightlife roots, and it’s hard to imagine a more fitting home for the seedy glam of Cabaret’s Kit Kat Klub than Studio 54. Based on stories by Christopher Isherwood and a play by John Van Druten, the musical by John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (lyrics) and Joe Masteroff (book) has been on Broadway four times since its debut in 1966. Though reviving a revival could easily seem like a lesson in unoriginality, it feels, in this case, like a welcome homecoming.

And who wouldn’t want to come home to an army of omnisexual pretty young things, writhing, dancing and playing an array of instruments in various states of undress? If not—well, you’ve come to the wrong place. 1930s Berlin is not for the unadventurous, and fortunately, Clifford Bradshaw (Bill Heck), an American writer searching for his novel abroad, is not. Just hours after arriving in town, he’s already gotten chummy with Sally, an itinerant English club singer, and shared a passionate lip-lock with something of a former beau.

Cabaret - engagement party 0397Running parallel to Cliff and Sally’s tryst is the more modest courtship between Fräulein Schneider (Linda Emond), from whom Cliff lets his room, and Herr Schultz (Danny Burstein), owner of the local fruit shop. That the supporting romantic storyline is far more affecting than the first is a testament to both the supreme talents of Broadway vets Ms. Emond and Mr. Burstein (Tony-nominated this week for their performances), and the lukewarm chemistry between Mr. Heck and Ms. Williams.

As the pragmatic Schneider, Emond strikes a touching balance of world-weary warmth that’s especially powerful in her commanding performances of ‘So What’ and ‘What Would You Do?’ Burstein is perfectly matched, with his intuitive handling of Schultz’s vacillating pride and vulnerability. Heck’s Clifford seems a bit more inscrutable than hungry for experience, which may help explain his less than magnetic connection with Williams’ Sally.

Standing up to the memory of an indelible, Tony-winning performance by the late Natasha Richardson in the original version of this production is a daunting task, even—and maybe especially—for a young Hollywood star. Williams brings the sort of clever beauty and coy sensibility of a Marilyn Monroe to the role, and a well of readily available emotions to draw upon. She does fine work leading early club numbers like ‘Don’t Tell Mama,’ and passable renditions of more emblematic songs like ‘Maybe This Time’ and the title finale. But to her Sally, chasing pleasure seems more like a whim than an addiction, and most of the company (except for Nazi Erst Ludwig) look to be having more fun.

Cabaret - Williams Don't Tell Mama 0059Of course, pre-Nazi Germany is anything but all fun and games, and the air in the Kit Kat Klub is as thick with danger as it is sexual thrill. Brewing the show’s heady mix of hedonism and doom, carelessness and dread is Cumming’s dynamite Emcee—straddling a line between masculine and feminine and making near bedfellows of everyone in the room. With him at the mic, you have little to no choice but to do as he says and leave your troubles at the door.

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Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:joan marcus)

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Dear Aspiring Actors, Don't Do What Alan Cumming Did To Woody Allen: VIDEO


In a web-exclusive for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, bisexual actor Alan Cummings shared his tale of botching an otherwise semi-decent audition with director Woody Allen:

So I went to meet Woody Allen for a part in one of his films a long time ago, and the casting director said to me “Don’t worry. He does very quick meetings. Don’t worry too much. He just says hello, he looks at you — really very quick.”

So I go into the room, and there’s Woody Allen. And first of all, I’m 40 years too young or 20 years too young for this part. I don’t know why I’m there… so I start reading and I start to think, Woody is way over in another corner of the room behind a pillar looking at me… And I start reading with the casting director, and I do quite well, I’m kinda nailing it, I think I’m doing quite well.

And as I’m reading it, I realize it’s going well, Woody starts to come nearer and nearer like and animal coming to nibble at something you’ve left out for it. And he’s sorta fascinated by me. And he gets right up to me and I finish the thing, and he goes, “Are you available in the summer?”

And I’m like “Yes, yes…” I thought, “My god, I totally nailed this....

Watch Alan’s interview to see what happened next, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Dear Aspiring Actors, Don't Do What Alan Cumming Did To Woody Allen: VIDEO" »

Alan Cumming Acquires WWII Drama Written by Longtime Activist David Mixner and Rich Burns

Alan Cumming has acquired a script written by longtime activist and Towleroad columnist David Mixner and screenwriter Rich Burns, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

CummingCumming currently co-stars on TV's The Good Wife (for which he has garnered two Emmy nominations) and has done voice work in the recent Smurfs movies.

He, along with Geller, recently acquired the spec Dunes of Overveen, the true life story of Willem Arondeus and the bloody underground uprising of artists in Amsterdam during WWII against occupying Nazi forces. It was written by Rich Burns and David Mixner, a civil rights activist and best-selling author.

We'll look forward to seeing this come to life!

PETA's 'Vegetarian Icon' Stamps Feature Ricky Martin, Alan Cumming, and Other LGBT Celebs

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Animal rights group PETA is launching a limited-edition sheet of postal stamps honoring celebrated vegetarians including prominent queer celebrities like Alan Cumming, Ricky Martin, Sara Gilbert, and Morrissey.

Check out some of the other celebrities featured HERE.

Stephen Colbert and Alan Cumming Respond to 'Accidental Racist' with 'Oopsie-Daisy Homophobe': VIDEO


Stephen Colbert notes that Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist" has caused people from all races and ethnicities to join their voices as one and declare "this song suuuuucks."

He adds: "This level of unifying suckage has inspired me to write my own awful song in the hopes of bridging another deep cultural rift in America - the gay marriage divide."


Continue reading "Stephen Colbert and Alan Cumming Respond to 'Accidental Racist' with 'Oopsie-Daisy Homophobe': VIDEO" »

The Bonus Special of Gay Web Series 'The Outs' is Here: VIDEO


When we last spoke with creator Adam Goldman, he had said he was going to be working on a sort of "capstone to the series" in the form of a 'Chanukah Special' which would tie up some loose ends.

It's here now, and fans of the web series won't be disappointed. Alan Cumming even makes an appearance, as himself.


If you haven't been following this six-episode, Kickstarter-funded serial, here are Episode 1, Episode 2Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, and Episode 6 which you may want to catch up on.


Continue reading "The Bonus Special of Gay Web Series 'The Outs' is Here: VIDEO" »


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