Alan Cumming ‘Sings Sappy’

Alan Cumming’s well-received cabaret act, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, which premiered at Café Carlyle in June 2015 and by February was onstage at Carnegie Hall, makes its PBS debut Nov. 18 as part of the sixth annual PBS Arts Fall Festival. The hour-long show will be available for on-demand viewing on pbs.org through Dec. 16.

Cumming, who won a Tony for his role in the revival of Cabaret, performs songs that marked poignant moments in his life. Included in the lineup are tunes made famous by artists Annie Lennox (“Why”), Rufus Wainwright (“Dinner at Eight”), Keane (“Somewhere Only We Know”), and Billy Joel (“Goodnight Saigon”), as well as a medley of hits by Adele, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry titled “Someone like the Edge of Firework.”

This special could just as well been titled Alan Cumming sings snappy songs!  The evening was filmed live for PBS in Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.

“I had wanted to do my own show for a very long time, but I had been terrified at the prospect of singing without the veil of a character,” Cumming shared on AlanCumming.com. “Every now and then when I was very brave, or had been emotionally blackmailed, I would sing a song at a gala or an event as myself, and really was amazed by the connection I felt between me and the audience.”

His live first-person performances started in 2009 with a program called I Bought A Blue Car Today for the American Songbook Series at New York’s Lincoln Center and culminated in Sappy Songs, which he has performed extensively throughout the US, Canada and Australia, and continues to tour around the globe.

For a full schedule, click here. Highlights include a New Year’s Eve show in Park City, UT, at the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Center Theatre, and a Jan. 29 performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Billboard wrote of the show: “Though Cumming may not be the typical “pinkies out, shirt tucked in” Carnegie Hall headliner, this is precisely why he’s an icon to behold — he is unapologetically himself, and with a talent like that, he has no need to apologize.”

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