When he performs his cabaret, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, in Orlando and Sarasota this March, there will no doubt be a good number of The Good Wife fans who will be surprised that Eli Gold can carry a tune. But for a good many more, Cumming thrust his pelvis into our collective consciousness during the ‘90s with a revival of Cabaret on Broadway, reinventing the Emcee role and redefining sexy for many.
Cumming played that role 808-and-a-half times; a fact you can find on his website under “FAQ,” along with some other questions he recommends an interviewer not ask him again. His sexuality, an infamous essay on foreskin and acting on stage versus screen are also on the list. In fact, you might get the idea that Alan doesn’t like to talk, but I found that definitely not to be the case —at all—when I chatted with him by phone from his home in the East Village. He and husband, illustrator Grant Shaffer, have just moved into a newly renovated home one block from their last home.