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Life Is a Cabaret (and Alan Cumming Is Tending Bar) – Entertainment – Pulselive.co.ke

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He wove his way through the packed, narrow bar, dispensing hugs and hellos, then took the tiny stage and belted out a ballad, “What More Can I Say?” from the musical “Falsettoland.”

The place erupted in cheers and calls for another song, but Cumming peered over to the bar and saw it three-deep with patrons putting a strain on a team of hustling bartenders.

“I feel I have to bartend,” said Cumming, who doffed his blazer and began serving.

“Alan will be at the bar,” announced his pianist, Lance Horne. “Get a drink, everyone.”

It was another Monday night at Club Cumming, which opened a year ago in the East Village. Cumming lives nearby and is a frequent presence, whether performing, bartending, DJing or simply socializing.

Cumming, who has appeared in scores of films and stage productions, is currently starring in the CBS series “Instinct,” which he had been shooting all day before showing up at the club.

He said the idea to open Club Cumming, which has the feel of the Kit Kat Club from “Cabaret,” grew out of the post-performance parties he would throw for friends in his dressing room during the 2014 Broadway production of “Cabaret.”

“At the time, I was so busy that I had to make the fun come to me,” he said, “and it’s the same with the bar.”

As he poured drinks, Cumming danced and occasionally pulled out his phone to record performances onstage. All the while he chatted with patrons, some of whom were regulars. Others were first-timers eager to get waited on by the celebrity bar owner.

Cumming said it was important for him to be accessible and not just make cameo appearances at the bar.

“I don’t come to my bar to hide,” he said. “I make sure I don’t just come and stay for a second. When I’m here, I want to represent. Why would you want to have a bar otherwise?”

The fact that everyone wants to talk to him hardly seems to be a problem, though it does cut into his bartending.

Cumming, who started working professionally when he was quite young and never stopped, claimed that he had always wanted to be a bartender, a staple job for many struggling actors.

“Now that I have my own bar, I finally get to be a bartender,” he said, adding that he is still sometimes baffled by some drink orders.

“If someone asks for a tequila sunrise, I might say, ‘How about a tequila and soda?’” he said.

Still, he has learned how to work the register and to open tabs on credit cards. He has mostly mastered the soda gun, but can still mix up the buttons to dispense the correct mixer, including the C-button for Coke and the other C-button, for cranberry juice.

“I’ve made a mistake of giving a whiskey and cranberry to someone who ordered a whiskey and coke,” he said, adding that many fans do not seem to mind a messed-up a drink made by a movie star.

“I asked them if it was OK, and they said, ‘Of course,’” he said. “I have great license to make a mistake and say, ‘Well, it’s not my main job.’”

A man approached and thanked him for being outspoken as a gay activist and “representing who we are.”

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The man, Michael Strachan, 60, of Manhattan, grew emotional and tearfully told Cumming about his battle with cancer. Cumming hugged him and supplied him with bar napkins for his tears. He listened soberly for 10 minutes as the fun and singing raged all around them. (A singer, Xavier Smith, was rocking Sade’s “Smooth Operator.”)

Afterward, Strachan was visibly moved by the conversation. “He’s a celebrity,” he said, “and here I am, some stranger coming at him with all this pain, and he was like, ‘Bring it.’”

As singer after singer took the stage to deliver raucous, melodramatic renditions of pop and show tunes, a mix of patrons danced, including hairy men in dresses, straight women and a woman in a wheelchair — Mary Mimms, age 103 — pumping her fists to the music.

Although Club Cumming is known as a queer bar, Cumming said he opened it a year ago with the “edict” of inclusiveness for all ages, genders and sexual orientations.

The bar has managed to pull it off, said Horne, who runs the Monday-night open mics. There is no cover charge, and it tends to lure Broadway performers, since Monday is a dark night for most theaters.

“Plus, you’re going to get a strong pour from Alan,” Horne said, “because he’s Scottish.”

For the record, Cumming prefers vodka-and-sodas to Scotch. Performance-wise, he may shimmy with the club’s go-go dancers, or lead the bar in a singalong of “Tomorrow” from “Annie,” as he did recently.

On this particular Monday night, he slipped from the bar to the stage around midnight and reeled off a dramatic version of “Mein Herr,” from “Cabaret.”

This was the same man who had just slipped lemon wedges into two bottles of Corona and slid them over to Emma Williamson, 26, a British tourist.

“I had no idea he was going to be the bartender,” she said, taking the beers. “It definitely made my day.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Corey Kilgannon © 2018 The New York Times



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TENDER NO. 28/KBC/2020-2021 FENCING OF KENYA BROADCASTING CORPORATION’S PARCEL OF LAND IN NYALENDA (KISUMU). – KBC

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TENDER NO. 28/KBC/2020-2021 FENCING OF KENYA BROADCASTING CORPORATION’S PARCEL OF LAND IN NYALENDA (KISUMU). – KBC | Kenya’s Watching





















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Suluhu: Closer ties for Kenya and Tanzania

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?President Samia Suluhu’s address to Parliament was a masterclass in charm, punctuated by periodic applause and stomping of feet by Kenyan lawmakers.

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Covid-19 deaths, hospitalizations soar among youth in Americas – KBC

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Hospitalizations and deaths of younger people are surging as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across Latin America and the Caribbean, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday.

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“Adults of all ages – including young people – are becoming seriously ill. Many of them are dying,” Etienne said at her daily press briefing as quoted in a PAHO release.

In Brazil, mortality rates doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s, and tripled for those in their 50s, between December 2020 and March 2021, she said.

“For much of the pandemic, our hospitals were filled with elderly COVID patients, many of whom had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to severe disease,” Etienne said. “But look around intensive care units across our region today. You’ll see they’re filled not only with elderly patients, but also with younger people.”

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Etienne urged hospitals in the region to increase the size of intensive care units (ICU) in anticipation that the trend will continue, while warning that expansion of ICUs cannot continue indefinitely.

As a result, she urged nations to double down on prevention measures such as lockdowns and facemasks.

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