Saturday, November 14, 2015

review - ALAN CUMMING: UNCUT - Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

"Alan Cumming is a Tony winner, a New York Times best-selling author, and a multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominee. At his recent sold out concert at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts he also proved to be a gifted storyteller, delivering an evening filled with humorous personal stories and an eclectic mix of exceptionally well sung songs. Performing songs associated with a wide range of artists, from Annie Lennox to Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Rufus Wainwright and even Miley Cyrus and Elaine Stritch, the concert, entitled Alan Cumming: Uncut, also featured heartfelt stories about his family as well as a few adult tales from his sordid past, including several cheeky stories about Cumming's foreskin. Well, the evening was called Alan Cumming: Uncut after all....There wasn't a bad musical choice in the entire set list. Some of the more personable song highlights were numbers that Cumming dedicated to his father, his grandfather, and his home country of Scotland. These included an expertly sung rendition of Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon," which Cumming sang as a tribute to his late grandfather who served overseas and met a very unfortunate fate, and whom Cumming unfortunately never met. His spotless, punctuated enunciation of the lyrics, combined with the excellent sound system at the SCPA, allowed for Joel's words to have even more clarity ....Cumming gave his take on several pop songs, backed by musical director Lance Horne and Eleanor Norton on cello, both of whom delivered exceptional and skilled accompaniment on the well thought out arrangements. A mash-up of three hugely successful pop hits, which Cumming calls "Someone Like the Edge of Firework," is a combination of Adele's "Someone Like You," Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory," and Katy Perry's "Firework." It is a skillfully arranged piece, with Cumming's voice achieving a rawness and showing that he can hold his own against these three hugely successful women. ...the acoustics at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Virginia G. Piper Hall were exceptional. For such a large venue there is an intimacy that elevates a personable concert like Cumming's into something even more special. The clean site lines in the stadium seating auditorium also ensure that there isn't a bad seat in the house.  Alan Cumming: Uncut featured a charming, intimate, and truly fearless performance from Cumming. It was an exceptional evening full of meaningful songs, stories, humor, and personal tales punctuated by the natural ease that Cumming has in connecting with an audience."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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