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See Alan Live
Multi-hyphenate Alan Cumming has aging on his mind in Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age, a solo show he debuted in 2021 that'll hit three Texas cities: San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas where he'll perform at Moody Performance Hall at AT&T Perfoming Arts Center on March 8.
It's a whirlwind, but he doesn't seem phased by it.
"I always have fun with Texas audiences. I've never played Houston, but I've filmed in Austin and done concerts in Dallas and San Antonio," he says. "One of the things I love doing with shows like this is going into the cities and meeting people."
The one-man show, told in stories and song, covers sex, death, and bacchanalia, with a set list as eclectic as one might expect from an actor who's played (among many others and in no particular order) a Bond villain in Goldeneye, hosts the reality show The Traitors on Peacock, won a Tony Award for his portrayal of the emcee in the 1998 revival of Cabaret, and penned a host of novels and memoirs.
Audiences can expect songs from Cabaret authors Kander and Ebb blended with contemporary favorites and even a self-penned paean against plastic surgery.
"It's a real old-fashioned cabaret," he says.
Cumming began thinking about aging while appearing in the play Daddy in New York in 2019. The then-54-year-old found himself trying to look older for the part. He also appeared naked on stage, and noticed how people reacted to a man in his 50s on stage in the buff.
The juxtapositions of those feelings got his mind working. Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age is the result, and it made its first appearance at Australia's Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2021. It would go on to the Edinburgh International Festival a few months later, and then to cities around the world.
"That's the nice thing about doing a tour like this that's broken up," he says. "You go away, you come back. You can step back and look at it. I've changed the songs around, and really finessed it."
Cumming, who is bisexual, is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights, the arts, and a host of other causes. Known for his candor, wit, and ceaseless curiosity, he routinely turns his observations inward on himself. He hopes the show will resonate with audiences.
"It's very personal. I feel it's the best connection I can get with an audience," he says about being open and vulnerable in telling this story on stage. "Aging is something we're all doing. I think it's fascinating. This is about how we go about that and how we let certain quarters dictate how to live our lives."
It is also, he feels, a rallying cry about the inevitability of aging, and how we can face it.
"The message of this show is about remaining curious and open to life and experiencing life as you get older," he says.