Versatile Alan Cumming comes to S.F. 

Life remains a cabaret for Alan Cumming. who is spending a musical weekend in San Francisco.

On Saturday, he is the featured artist for American Conservatory Theater’s annual gala. It’s a tony event with the Tony winner in the spotlight of a tented play space on U.N. Plaza. Proceeds go to ACT’s actor training and arts education and community programs.

A student of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Cumming is happy to lend his support to the educational programs. “I couldn’t tell you in exact ways,” he says, “but there are things I learned at the academy that still affect my work today.”

The next day, Cumming appears at Feinstein’s at the Nikko with two performances of a show playfully titled “Uncut: An Evening of Song and Stories From Scotland’s Beloved Man-Child.”

It’s an apt moniker for an artist with such a diverse reach.

He’s logged more than 100 film and television credits from indie treats and camp classics to major franchises such as James Bond and X-Men. A magazine editor in his youth, he has by-lines in various publications and both a novel and memoir on his shelf.

He has an eponymous fragrance line, a recording career, photography credits and has been an active supporter of LGBT civil rights. (Cumming, 50, claims the B and is married to graphic artist Grant Shaffer.)

Cumming’s greatest visibility has come from the revival or Kander and Ebb’s musical “Cabaret” and from six seasons on the CBS hit series “The Good Wife” with Juliana Margulies.

The TV show is filmed in New York, which allowed him to reprise his career-making 1998 stage role for a year-long revival of the revival. He traded in the nipple glitter – “Nipple rouge this time. It’s so much easier!” – but reviewers and audiences found that all of the bite remained.

Cumming bounced from couture-attired political fixer Eli Gold by day to sexually amorphous emcee of the Kit Kat Club each night – and twice on Saturdays. Juggling his naturally lyrical brogue with Eli’s clipped Chicago-ese and the lush louche tones of Weimar Berlin without a slip, he did have one interesting moment’s pause.

“One evening,” he recalls, “as I’m acting out all sorts of debauched sex onstage, I remembered that Sarah was in the audience.” Sarah Steele plays Eli Gold’s daughter Marissa. “It was so strange, but all of a sudden I felt a little dirty!”

IF YOU GO

Alan Cumming

Where: Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 220 Mason St., S.F.

When: 4 and 7 p.m. April 26 (sold out)

Tickets: $70 to $85

Contact: (866) 663-1063, www.ticketweb.com

Note: ACT’s gala “Get Stranded with Alan Cumming” begins at 5 p.m. April 25 in UN Plaza, Seventh and Market streets, S.F.; tickets are $1,250 and up. Call (415) 439-2470 or visit www.act-sf.org/gala for details.

About The Author

Robert Sokol

Robert Sokol

Bio:
Robert Sokol is the editor at BAYSTAGES, the creative director at VIA MEDIA, and a lifelong arts supporter. Diva wrangler, cinefiler, and occasional saloon singer, he has been touching showbiz all his life. (So far no restraining orders have been issued!)... more
Pin It
Favorite

More by Robert Sokol

Latest in Theater

Monday, Feb 19, 2018

Videos

Most Popular Stories

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation