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ALAN CUMMING IN “CABARET” – 15 YEARS LATER, AS DEVASTATINGLY TALENTED AS EVER

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One of the theater’s most brilliant actors is back in one of the most iconic performances of the last 20 years. See what the fuss is about, and what Alan has been up to since he last said “Willkommen”.

 

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome. Or should we say “welcome back”. It’s been 16 years since Alan Cumming first wowed audiences as the Master of Ceremonies – aka the Emcee – in the 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret, directed by Sam Mendes. And as if no time has passed at all, Cabaret on Broadway is back and better than ever with the latest Roundabout revival. Or is it a revival of a revival? Or, more appropriately, a remounting of a revival? Oh, who cares?!? Alan Cumming is back as the Emcee, and very little on Broadway could be more exciting. And for those who worry that 16 years might take a toll on an Emcee, one need look no further than Alan Cumming’s brilliant performance currently occurring 8 times a week at Studio 54 to put those fears to rest.

 

From the moment the spotlight hits his eyes peeking through the slot in the upstage door, Alan Cumming is electric. With the blink (or wink) of an eye, he is able to rouse the audience to thunderous applause, just as if it were 16 years ago when he had just won the Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. And when Mr. Cumming steps out onto that stage and utters the word “willkommen”, the audience is immediately in love and lost in the wonderful and tragic world of Cabaret. From first glance, one can see that Mr. Cumming is in better physical shape than he was 16 years ago. And from his first song, one can hear that he has not lost a single magical note – or ounce of passion – in the 16 years since he first played Studio 54.

 

So what has Alan Cumming been up to in the 15 years since he took his final Emcee bow? Well, quite a lot actually. Appearing on stage, on film, and on television, Mr. Cumming has kept quite busy – and racked up quite a resume.

 

Most recently, Mr. Cumming has spent the last four years playing the role of top political consultant Eli Gold on the hit series The Good Wife. He has also played the recurring role of Austen Clarke on Lisa Kudrow’s Showtime series Web Therapy. On the big screen, you’ve seen him in Burlesque, The Anniversary Party, and as “Nightcrawler” in X-Men 2. He’s showed off his singing chops on screen in Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical and as “Rooster” in the 1999 made-for-TV movie Annie.

 

But Alan Cumming has had much success on the stage as well since his original Emcee tour-de-force. He has been spotted singing at Joe’s Pub downtown, and sharing the stage with Ms. Liza Minnelli herself in Fire Island and Provincetown. His most recent Broadway success was his 2013 one-man Macbeth, in which he played the sole inhabitant of a psychiatric unit, taking on all of the roles from the famous Shakespearean tragedy.

 

Luckily, as all good stories do, Alan’s has come full circle. While his career has flourished over the past 15 years, he has returned home to the role and show that launched him to stardom. If possible, his performance has grown in gravity and in depth. This devastating and powerful production is not to be missed, and Alan Cumming’s return to the Emcee is a gift from the theater gods. Second chances don’t always happen. But we are so glad that this one did.

 

Cabaret is currently playing through January at Studio 54.

Probably written by one our amazing StageLight staff writers!

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