×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alan Cumming Is a Guy Named Fred in ‘Macbeth’

Thesp shares major plot points of one-man take on Shakespeare tale

Spoiler alert: Here’s what’s going on with the tortured, institutionalized man depicted by Alan Cumming in the new Broadway production of “Macbeth.”

Cumming — dressed in kilt, sleeveless black shirt and blue tie — was surprisingly open about the backstory at the April 21 opening-night party at Hudson Terrace.

“He killed his wife and his kids,” the thesp said of his character, who re-enacts the Shakespeare tale by taking on every single role in the tragedy. “I think maybe he was a teacher or something, and he knows the play really well.” (The guy’s name is Fred, by the way.)

It’s a demanding role. “I’ve been exercising a lot, really trying to take care of myself,” Cumming said. “I’m not such a crazy partier as I usually am. Which is a bit annoying!” he added with a laugh.

The show has been selling surprisingly well, right out of the gate, with only six perfs per week. That probably has something to do with the raves the production earned in its brief run as part of the Lincoln Center Festival last year.

“If you ever get the chance to do 10 performances at Lincoln Center nine months before you come to Broadway, do it,” said producer Ken Davenport, caught in line for a drink at the bar. “It starts the word of mouth with a very specific audience. And most of them missed it!”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Scene” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    Laura Dern is certainly no stranger to film sets. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “I was conceived on a Roger Corman movie called [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

  • John Legend LVE Wine

    Celebrities Take Hands-On Approach to Making Fine Wines

    Care to sip champagne backed by Jay Z or 50 Cent? Or mellow out with a fine Chianti from Sting and Trudie Styler? Behind every wine label is an incredibly expensive team effort of surprising proportions. Wine lovers may consider making their own as the ultimate dream; however, few can afford the buy-in. Vineyards are [...]

  • St. Clair Brown, Mad Fritz lead

    Craft Beer Thrives in the Heart of Napa Wine Country

    Napa Valley has long been devoted to the products of the grape, but the region actually played a pivotal role in getting the craft beer revolution off the ground. New Albion Brewing launched the microbrewery trend in adjacent Sonoma County in 1976, inspiring a wave of delicious and potent alternatives to pale industrial beer. There’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content