I Bought a Blue Car Today: Alan Cumming Knocks It Out of the Park

Few cabaret performers electrify an audience. Peter Allen was able to do it with sheer energy, talent and drive. You had to see him jump on top of the piano to understand just how much energy was used up during one number.

Hugh Jackman can do it. His personality and good looks alone drive both men and women crazy...and his stamina is also phenomenal. Then there's Alan Cumming - appearing last week for one week only at the Geffen Playhouse-whose extraordinary vocal style and devilish sense of humor can keep a show in high gear.

He's hard to describe-a shy, retiring soul with a lot of the bad boy underneath... that creeps out to shock us every now and again - and, wow, what a magnetic vocalist...and those bizarre, outlandish, outrageous anecdotes he tells...like you're getting familiar with someone famous for the very first time. I never knew Ann Miller wanted to see more p----well, bless her! And what about that cheek to cheek dance with Walter Cronkite?

Whether he sings from John Cameron Mitchell and Hedwig, or a Dore Previn ("I Will Dance and Dance and Sing and Sing") or William Finn ballad ("What More Can I Say"), his emotional range is incredible, he pulls you in, and like a magnet, you're hooked! Cumming has star quality, whatever that means: he's incomparable!

I Bought a Blue Car Today, as it happens, was a sentence he had to write in English on his examination for US citizenship last year and he found it so glaringly indicative of the American energy and financial crises, that he decided he must use it as the title his solo show. His new solo CD with the same title has the show pretty much in tact, with the addition of Cindy Lauper and John Bucchino songs. Great stuff! And Lance Horne, musical director, has some fabulous arrangements and original tunes to savor. Alan Cumming, I'm proud to announce early, is my choice for Best Solo Performance of 2009. Don't miss him as he tours the US and Australia; he's the top!



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From This Author Don Grigware