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Cabaret Review (NYC): Alan Cumming at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

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Ten Things I Learned at Alan Cumming's Cabaret Show at Feinstein's

1. "Taylor, The Latte Boy" (what, you don't know it?) works just as well sung by a man as by a woman. At least if the man is Alan Cumming.

2. He's not just a good actor. The star of stage (Cabaret), the movies (X-Men United, GoldenEye) and TV (Tin Man, The Good Wife) is quite charming, engaging, and funny as just himself.

3. The 45-year-old Scot has a beautiful, expressive singing voice which can drop from commanding and cutting to soft and touching in a split second. Okay, so I partly knew that already, having seen him in Cabaret. But that was a character, and an outsized one at that. Here he was just Alan Cumming, bringing the goods.

4. He knows how to pick the kinds of songs "just Alan Cumming" is the perfect person to sing: numbers from Falsettos, Hedwig, and Follies, one from Cabaret (no surprise there), and more.

5. The man's no slouch at writing his own, either. His "I Want to See You" was one of the highlights of the evening.  Another was a beautiful song I'd never heard before called "All The Best."

6. He's a freshly minted American citizen. But the Feinstein's audience would have accepted his occasional political points (and the biting lyrics of "American," a song by his pianist/music director Lance Horne) without knowing that — even if we don't have legal gay marriage in New York State yet.

7. Liza Minnelli (who turned up at the show) is looking pretty good these days, even from close up. And having two stars of Cabaret from two generations in one room — that's why I love New York City.

8. Cumming can tell a good showbiz anecdote, even while gently sending up the whole routine of cabaret performers telling showbiz anecdotes.

9. You should hear him talk about being in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Where New York attitude meets American cheerfulness, the result can only be surreal.

10. Actually, you can hear him talk about it. (Assuming this anecdote stays in the act). Alan Cumming is at Feinstein's at the Regency through May 1, and returns for another go-round June 22-26.  Go see him!

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is an Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. He writes the blog Park Odyssey, for which he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City—over a thousand of them. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. By night he's a working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com Nancy

    He was also in Tinman (Syfy version of Wizard of Oz) and the updated movie version of Annie. Cumming is worth every minute to watch.

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