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Cumming bringing 'Immigrant' show to Troy

Cumming bringing 'Immigrant' show to Troy

Actor to reflect upon career, tell jokes, sing songs
Cumming bringing 'Immigrant' show to Troy
Alan Cumming brings his one-man show of songs and stories to Troy Savings Bank Music Hall tonight (Thursday).
Photographer: provided photo

You might think Alan Cumming was the perfect person to play the Emcee in Kander and Ebb's brilliant Broadway musical "Cabaret," and most theater fans would agree with you. Don't expect him, however, to have the role again -- ever.

"There was a 16-year gap between the two times I played him, so I am much older and I can tell you that I will never play him again," said Cumming during a phone conversation with The Gazette earlier this month. "It was a great character, a great show, but I will never play him again."

Cumming, a Scottish-American actor who has enjoyed success on the stage as well as in the movies and on TV, will bring his one-man show "Legal Immigrant" to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall today (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. A three-time Emmy Award nominee for his role in "The Good Wife" and currently starring in the CBS drama "Instinct," Cumming will reflect upon his career, tell jokes, sing songs and share his experience as an immigrant who became a U.S. citizen in 2008.

"I love doing this form of entertainment, a cabaret, because I can get up and do a few songs and talk about anything I want," said Cumming. "But there is one through line that I have for the show, and that is that all the songs I sing are by incredible women. I didn't start out to make that the focus of the show, but once I realized I was heading in that direction I embraced it."

As for the U.S. immigration issue, Cumming thinks the current U.S. administration has blown things out of proportion.

"The idea that people are flooding into this country and that it's easy to become a citizen is a total myth," he said. "The immigration system is incredibly diligent and thorough. What I want people to take away from my show is that we should celebrate immigration and not deride it. When we look at America and think why is it such a great country, it's because being anti-immigrant is anti-American. I think we should be compassionate and think about helping people as opposed to preying on people's fears."

Cumming was born in 1965 in Perthshire, Scotland. He attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and soon found plenty of work in the London theater world and British television. In 1988, he was the West End's Newcomer of the Year, and in 1991 he earned the Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance in "Accidental Death of an Anarchist." In 1993, he landed the role of the Emcee in the British revival of "Cabaret," earning an Olivier Award nomination, and in 1998 reprised the role on Broadway and won a Tony Award.

Along with playing the Emcee, the other role Cumming is probably most known for is Eli Gold in "The Good Wife" from 2010-2016. A political consultant and crisis manager, Gold was supposed to appear in just an episode or two in 2010, but Cumming made the character so popular he was written into more scripts and ended up earning three Emmy Award nominations during his seven years with the show.

"Eli Gold was great fun and like most things in my life, I tend to select my roles by following my gut instinct," said Cumming. "Also, the roles that speak to me are not always the big-show ones. They are roles that are worth inhabiting and part of a story I want to tell."

After portraying costume designer Ted Tinling in 2017's "Battle of the Sexes," a film about the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs tennis match, Cumming began playing Dr. Dylan Reinhart in "Instinct" on CBS. The show was renewed and will begin its season season June 19.

He has three other projects currently in post-production and is also an author. Along with his 2014 autobiography "Not My Father's Son," about his relationship with his abusive father, Cumming published a novel in 2002 called "Tommy's Tale."

Cumming, who is openly bisexual, is currently living in Manhattan with his spouse, illustrator Grant Shaffer, and their two dogs.

'Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant'

WHAT: Alan Cumming's one-man cabaret show

WHERE: Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 30 2nd St., Troy

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25

HOW MUCH: $69.50-$35.50

MORE INFO: www.troymusichall.org

 

 

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