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OCPAC Presents West Coast Premiere of Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today

COSTA MESA, CA—Tony® Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for his acclaimed portrayal of the Emcee in Broadway’s revival of CABARET at Studio 54, Alan Cumming will present the West Coast Premiere of his one-man show Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today at the Orange County Performing Arts Center with two performances on September 26 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. in Samueli Theater. Accompanied by his musical director, Lance Horne, Cumming will unleash his favorite tunes, belt out celebrated hits alongside little-known gems, whilst captivating his audience with poignant anecdotes from his colorful and fantastic past. It’s a musical journey peppered with material by Frank Sinatra, Dory Previn, Kander & Ebb and Cyndi Lauper, to name only a few.

Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today is being presented as part of the Off Center Series which offers more eclectic and contemporary performances. Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today marks Cumming’s debut at the Center. The show premiered at Lincoln Center in New York City in February followed by a March run in Sydney, Australia, and was just seen in London’s West End earlier this month. It has garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. The New York Times claimed Cumming “exudes the fabulousness of a brash showbiz kid,” while Time Out called the show, “A little piece of Vaudevillian wonder packaged up in one hell of a sexy Scotsman.”

His debut album, I Bought a Blue Car Today (based on his one-man show) will be released in stores on September 22, 2009, a few days before his OCPAC debut.

Cumming trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and quickly found fame in his homeland for both his television work and stand-up comedy. The theater gave him his biggest break when he appeared in Manfred Karge’s Conquest of the South Pole in Edinburgh. The play transferred to the Royal Court in London’s West End and Cumming was nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer Olivier Award.

A star of stage and screen, U.S. film audiences were first introduced to Cumming in Circle of Friends, and he went on to appear in many varied films including Bryan Singer’s X2:X Men United, Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids trilogy, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Goldeneye, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Titus (directed by Julie Taymor), Emma and Sweet Land (for which he received an Independent Spirit Award for producing).

With Jennifer Jason Leigh he wrote, produced, directed and starred in the acclaimed The Anniversary Party, which won a National Board of Review award and two Independent Spirit nominations. In 1998, CABARET opened on Broadway and Cumming was heralded for his stunning performance as the Emcee. He won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, FANY, Theatre World and New York Public Advocate’s awards for his work. He has continued to earn accolades on Broadway in THE THREEPENNY OPERA, DESIGN FOR LIVING, and Off-Broadway in ELLE (which he also adapted) and The Classic Stage Company’s THE SEAGULL opposite Dianne Wiest. He returned to the British stage in 2006 in Martin Sherman’s BENT, and most recently appeared in the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Euripides’ THE BACCHAE, which opened the Edinburgh International Festival and toured Scotland, transferred to London and then to the Lincoln Center Festival. Cumming won the Herald Archangel award for his work as Dionysus.

On television he has appeared in Sex and the City, Frasier, Third Rock From the Sun, The L Word, the musical Reefer Madness and most recently in Sci-Fi Channel’s record-breaking Tin Man. He is also the host of PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery.

His second feature film as actor/director, Ghost Writer, was released in 2008. He has been selected to star as The Green Goblin in Julie Taymor’s SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK on Broadway in Spring of 2010, and will also be seen in the upcoming films, Dare, Boogie Woogie, Riverworld and The Tempest opposite Helen Mirren.

Cumming’s activism and charity work for civil rights and sex education causes have earned him several humanitarian awards including two Human Rights Campaigns awards, GLAAD’s (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) prestigious Vito Russo Media award and The Trevor Project Hero Award. In 2005, he was awarded an Icon of Scotland and in 2006, received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Abertay, Dundee. Most recently, he was appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list honored for services to film, theater and the arts and to activism for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community. He is also the author of the book Tommy’s Tale and has launched a successful fragrance and body line.

Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today is based on Cumming’s experiences living in the United States for the past 10 years. He writes, “The title comes from the naturalization test I took to become a citizen of the U. S. of A. In the test, there is a bit where the man says a sentence and you have to write it down to prove your prowess in English. My sentence was ‘I bought a blue car today,’ which initially I thought was really sweet and child-like, but on closer examination, I realized that it’s all about consumerism and gas-guzzling which rather brilliantly encapsulates America's financial and energy crises in one fell swoop.”

Photo by Adrian Buckmaster.

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Tickets to see Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today are $58 and are available online, at the Center’s Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 15 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236. The TTY number is 714.556.2746.

Two performances on September 26, 2009: 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in Samueli Theater.

Mercedes-Benz USA is the Premier Sponsor of the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s 2009-2010 Season.

Visit www.ocpac.org for more information. For more information on Alan Cumming, visit his own web portal www.alancumming.com.



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