PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Macbeth: Cumming and Going

By Harry Haun
22 Apr 2013

John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

This fragmented version of The Scottish Play has been, off and on, in perpetual replay in Cumming's brain for almost a year, and it looks as difficult to do today as it did almost a year ago, but he begged to differ: "I think I'm stronger this year. I'm less daunted by it because I've done it before. Last year was the feat of being able to learn it and perform it, and now I know I can do that so I'm a little more strong at it."

It could also be the story is in his blood. He hails from Macbeth Country—from Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, Scotland, where the drama first happened. "Where I lived when I was a baby has the same shared train station—Dunsinane and Bertham, and Burnham is Burnham Woods in Macbeth. My father's family all grew up in Cawdor."

All that, and Macbeth was the first Shakespeare that Cumming ever read, growing up. Now he's populating the Barrymore stage with 19 of his characters. "I thought it was 15"—but on future reflection, "I managed to remember some more of them."



Julianna Margulies, a.k.a. "The Good Wife" of CBS, bopped by beaming with good will for co-star Cumming, who's Eli Gold, a blunt politico, on her television series. "I'm so proud—beyond that, actually," she said. "This is the second time I've seen it. Are you kidding? I was there on opening night at Lincoln Center." And she'll be back.

It was a stars-night-out sort of Sunday, and many were spending it seeing Cumming do the Shakespeare shakes. Corey Michael Smith sped over from the 38th performance of Breakfast at Tiffany's. "I literally took my last bow 30 minutes ago," he said a bit wistfully. "I'm doing a couple of movies coming up later this year, but I have to find something in the meantime, for the immediate future, because I have bills..."

 Continued...