Sydney Opera House presents the Australian premiere of
Alan Cumming: I Bought A Blue Car Today
19 – 22 February 2009
“Cumming is chameleon-like in both his choice of roles and his ability to inhabit them convincingly” New York Times
Twenty years after Alan Cumming performed the musical sketch Victor and Barry at the 1989 Sydney Festival, the respected Scottish film and stage actor returns to Australia with an exquisitely personal show.
Back at Sydney Opera House for Mardi Gras, Cumming will head Down Under direct from making his cabaret debut for the Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series in New York. Accompanied by musical director Lance Horne and band, I Bought A Blue Car Today is a rare opportunity for Sydney audiences to get up-close to Cumming in the intimate surrounds of The Studio.
Moving songs about moving on, he will muse over the last 10 years of his life in America. From Dolly Parton, Elton John and Mika to Chess, Falsettos and Garfunkel, Cumming will interpret what he calls “the queer songbook” – a diverse range of Broadway tunes and popular songs mixed up with camp conversation and storytelling. His electric and eclectic track list promises to be as full of surprises as the man himself. This show will sell out quickly.
A relative unknown when he and university pal Forbes Masson first came to Australia, two decades on Cumming seems to be everywhere. Perhaps best known for his supporting roles in the Hollywood films Goldeneye, X-Men 2, Circle of Friends, Eyes Wide Shut and Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, but it is on the stage that he shines.
Cumming recently played the debauched, divine rock god Dionysus in The Bacchae, won a Tony Award for his performance as the Emcee in the highly successful revival of Cabaret and wowed London’s critics for his portrayal of Hamlet.
He has also hosted Saturday Night Live, formed his own production company, directed films and written the semi-autobiographical novel, Tommy’s Tale. He currently has six films in the pipeline.
In November 2008 Cumming became an American citizen (he holds dual citizenship with the United Kingdom) and the show’s title refers to a question asked at his naturalisation ceremony.
“At one point in the [citizenship] test you have to write down a sentence to prove your prowess in English, and my sentence was 'I bought a blue car today',” he says. “I thought that was such a great line: at once really sweet and childlike, but also so much about consumerism and gas guzzling!”
Cumming’s activism and passion for various civil rights and sex education causes has earned him many humanitarian awards including two Human Rights Campaign awards, GLAAD’s Vito Russo media award and the Trevor Project Hero Award. He currently lives in New York with his husband, Grant Shaffer, and their dogs Honey and Leon.
The Studio is the off-beat hub of Sydney Opera House, offering an affordable way to engage with contemporary arts. A place where entertainment happily rubs shoulders with enlightenment, The Studio program sometimes challenges and occasionally offends, but always employs lots of humour.
SEASON DETAILS: Alan Cumming: I Bought A Blue Car Today
Dates/Times: Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 February at 7.15pm
Venue: The Studio
Tickets: $85 or $70 concession
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or online at sydneyoperahouse.com
Duration: 70 minutes
Information: Online at alancumming.com
MEDIA: Contact Nathan McIlroy on 02 9250 7596 / 0421 668 440 / firstname.lastname@example.org