Alan Cumming's Art Party Makes Debut with Elle, July 17-31

News   Alan Cumming's Art Party Makes Debut with Elle, July 17-31 Elle, the first production of Alan Cumming's new theatre organization, the Art Party, begins performances July 17.

Elle, the first production of Alan Cumming's new theatre organization, the Art Party, begins performances July 17.

Cumming, who adapted Jean Genet's classic work, will also star in the play, along with Corpus Christi's Anson Mount (The Photographer), Brian Duguay (Second Photographer), Chad L. Coleman (The Cardinal) and Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella (The Usher). Nick Philippou, a co-founder of the Art Party with Cumming and Audrey Rosenberg, will direct. Vivienne Westwood has designed the costumes and Tim Hatley the sets.

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On his official website, Cumming explains that Elle "is about image, identity and celebrity and takes place in the Vatican where a young photographer has come to photograph the Pope, to create his image for the world to view. But, when the Pope arrives, he tells the photographer he is not that image, that he does not in fact exist." Cumming will portray the Pope.

Elle will play The Zipper (336 W. 37th Street) from July 17 through July 31. Tickets are priced between $25 and $45 and are available by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or on-line at www.theartparty.org. Alan Cumming made his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cabaret — a role he created at London's Donmar Warehouse — and received a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He was last on The Great White Way opposite Jennifer Ehle and Dominic West in a revival of Noel Coward's Design for Living. With Cabaret co-star Jennifer Jason Leigh, he co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in the independent film, "The Anniversary Party."

Based in New York, the Art Party is "for those who crave the thrill of living art, and the comfort and excess of a party." The fledgling company will collaborate with artists from other art-related fields: those from the fashion, film, photography and dance worlds.

—By Andrew Gans