Alan Cumming on sappy songs and 'The Good Wife' ending

NEW YORK -- The coolest place to be on Broadway last year was inside the Studio 54 theatre. To be more specific, it was in Alan Cumming's dressing room there.

See Full Article

That's where guests after "Cabaret" would go backstage to mingle and dance as Cumming played DJ. Those impromptu nights led to the concert series "Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs" at the elegant Cafe Carlyle last summer, a live CD of the concert and now a mini tour.

Onstage, "The Good Wife" star tells stories and illustrates them with tunes such as Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon," Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" and Stephen Sondheim's "Ladies Who Lunch."

He plays Bethesda, Maryland, on Valentine's Day; Naples, Florida, on Feb. 28; Detroit on March 19; Minneapolis on March 26; Princeton, New Jersey, on May 13; Port Washington, New York, on May 14, Dallas on June 24; Austin, Texas on June 25; and San Antonio, Texas, on June 26.

The Associated Press caught up with the Scotsman to ask how he took the news of the end of "The Good Wife," why he chose the songs on the new album and why he's not afraid of the unknown now.

AP: Did you pick songs we secretly love but never admit to?

Cumming: No, it's not about guilty pleasures, to be cool or anti-cool. It's really the songs that I connect with in an emotional way. Some of the songs I was a little judge-y initially and then I realized it's because people here want to know what to think of it first before they actually experience it. I find that applies to music a lot.

AP: We are kind of obsessed with labels, aren't we?

Cumming: I'd put on songs and people would be dancing and saying, "Who is this?" And I'd say, "Well, why don't you see if you like it first and enjoy it rather than having to know what it is before you make a judgment about whether you're allowed to enjoy it?" Music should be a primal experience rather than an intellectual one.

AP: You introduce each song with a story of your own, like the passionate relationship you were in years ago that segues into the Avril Lavigne song "Complicated."

Cumming: I like the fact that when I start singing the songs, people are connecting with the song and they are also associating my experience I just shared with them. I like that sort of layered thing.

AP: Is the racy cover of the album, with you and two dancers completely nude outside the Carlyle, a real photo or a clever editing job?

Cumming: It's real. We were literally naked on the street at 2 o'clock in the morning. It was very, very quick. Luckily nobody's up past 10 o'clock on the Upper East Side so it was kind of empty.

AP: Which came first, the picture or the album?

Cumming: The photo. When we were talking of doing the live album, I thought, 'Wow, if we could do it at the Carlyle, we could use that as the cover.' So in some way the whole reason for doing the recording at the Carlyle was so I could have that picture on the cover. It was a very elaborate way to do it.

AP: We were surprised to learn "The Good Wife" was ending. Were you?

Cumming: I wasn't surprised. I was actually leaving anyway. I wasn't going to do another season. I'm sorry the show is coming to an end and the news was jarring, but I think it's great that the showrunners, Robert and Michelle King, have a chance to finish it the way they want to. The Kings were leaving as well. That's why I was going to leave -- the Kings were leaving. Now they can close the story.

AP: The musical "Cabaret" ended its yealong run last year and now "The Good Wife" ends. Do you feel like you're now free?

Cumming: It feels like a new phase, definitely. What's interesting is six years ago when I started "The Good Wife," I really wanted to get a job on a TV show in New York because I was so fed up of travelling all over the world. I just wanted to get home for a bit and have some job security and stability in my life. And now I think I'm ready to go back to that again. So, in a way, I'm going back to the unknown.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • 'Star Wars' fan clubs honour Carrie Fisher at Comic-Con

    Entertainment CTV News
    In this 1977 image provided by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation, from left, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill are shown in a scene from "Star Wars" movie, released by 20th Century-Fox. Fisher, who played Princess Leia in 'Star Wars,' has died at age 60, her daughter's publicist says. Source
  • Victory for 'Dunkirk' and 'Girls Trip' at box office

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- It's victory for "Dunkirk" at the box office this weekend. Studios on Sunday say the Christopher Nolan World War II epic earned an estimated $50.5 million to top the charts, with $11.7 million of that coming from IMAX screens. Source
  • Charlize Theron talks equal pay, female action stars at Comic-Con

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- Charlize Theron has a message to audiences: See female-driven movies, and studios will make more. "I always say to studios, 'Make more female-driven movies,' " Theron said. "They said, 'We would if people go and see them. Source
  • Chicago festival marking Pokemon Go anniversary goes awry

    Entertainment CBC News
    A major Pokemon Go festival in Chicago Saturday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the virtual game went badly awry when technical glitches prevented many fans from logging on. The problems forced Niantic Inc., the developer of the wildly popular augmented reality game, to issue a statement saying everyone who registered for the event would get a full refund for the $20 tickets and $100 in credits for use of the app. Source
  • Black Panther cast members reveal new details about film

    Entertainment CBC News
    Black Panther stole the show Saturday night at Marvel Studios' Comic-Con presentation, outshining the Ant-Man, Thor and even the ultimate Avengers team-up, Infinity War. Fans went wild for the exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming superhero pic, featuring star Chadwick Boseman T'Challa intercepting a sketchy vibranium trade between Andy Serkis' Klaw and Martin Freeman's Everett. Source
  • Hilary Duff's apartment broken into, jewelry stolen after she posted vacation pics from Canada

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Hilary Duff has reportedly lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewellery after thieves broke in to her apartment. The multi-talented singer and actress is believed to have been targeted after posting pictures of her holiday on Instagram, making eagle-eyed robbers aware that her Beverly Hills apartment was empty while she was on vacation. Source
  • Prince William, Harry regret final rushed conversation with Diana

    Entertainment CBC News
    Britain's Prince William and Harry have spoken of their regret over the last conversation they had with their mother Princess Diana before she died, saying the telephone call was "desperately rushed". In a documentary called Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Diana's death in a Paris car crash on Aug. Source
  • Prince William, Prince Harry regret final rushed conversation with Diana

    Entertainment CBC News
    Britain's Prince William and Harry have spoken of their regret over the last conversation they had with their mother Princess Diana before she died, saying the telephone call was "desperately rushed". In a documentary called Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Diana's death in a Paris car crash on Aug. Source
  • ‘Ballers’, ‘Room 104’ and ‘Puss in Boots’ top this week’s TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Ballers Season Premiere Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson returns to his role as retired athlete turned financial manager when the series picks up where it left off. Spencer Strasmore is looking for more high-profile clients to pay off the debt he’s racked up. Source
  • Marvel bewitches Comic-Con with 'Black Panther' and 'Thor: Ragnarok'

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- "Black Panther" stole the show Saturday night at Marvel Studios' Comic-Con presentation, outshining the Ant-Man, Thor and even the ultimate Avengers team-up, "Infinity War." Fans went wild for the exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming superhero pic, featuring star Chadwick Boseman T'Challa intercepting a sketchy vibranium trade between Andy Serkis' Klaw and Martin Freeman's Everett. Source