paul mccartney

Paul McCartney, Emma Stone and Alan Cumming Gave a Surprise Performance of ‘Part of Your World’ in NYC

Last night was another one of those really crazy random nights that can only happen in a city like New York.

A few weeks ago, actor Alan Cumming and promoter Daniel Nardicio bought Benjamin Maisani and Darren Dryden’s bar Eastern Bloc in the East Village. They gave the bar a fancy facelift, splashing a sexy Weimar inspired mural in the back, red vinyl cushions on the walls and an upright piano on the stage. They also gave the bar a new name, Club Cumming, named after Cumming’s infamous dressing room gatherings backstage at his Broadway shows that morphed into their own kind of cabaret circuit party.

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“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome” may as well be the words that the bouncer mutters to guests as they step into the dimly lit club. Cumming and Nardicio are trying to revive the East Village, and what happened last night is an example of that revitalization proving ridiculously successful.

After stopping by “So You Think You Can Drag” in Hell’s Kitchen, I wanted to go to Club Cumming to sing a song with Jack Aaronson who hosts a semi-weekly piano night on Thursdays. I went last week and sang some Hedwig and some Ursula, so I wanted to return to the stage to test out their sound system again. I peer-pressured photographer Jeff Eason to join me, and, after twisting his arm, we got in an Uber and headed downtown.

When we got there, the bar had a nice crowd of musical theater aficionados belting out different show tunes. Alan was there, and so was Daniel. At one point, a 20-something in pleather pants and a smokey eye gasped when he saw Alan, whispering into my ear, “I didn’t think he would actually be here.”

After my first song, I decided to perform “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid after last week’s semi-successful attempt. At the beginning of my number, I could hear the crowd in the back near the entrance hoot and holler. I’m proud of my performance, but I knew the applause wasn’t for me.

I continued to channel my inner-plus size drag queen villain, screeching notes and subbing curse words in not-fit for a Disney film. After getting off stage, I realized Sir Paul McCartney, Emma Stone and Billie Jean King were the ones everyone was cheering for.

 

You know, just another Thursday at Club Cumming

Alan Cumming is starring in Battle of the Sexes, a film that portrays the infamous 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobbie Riggs. Stone plays King, and the cast and crew were out celebrating after an event for the film. McCartney was in town for a sold-out show at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

They all hung out in the VIP area for a bit. After a few more performances of people belting Wicked and Les Mis, the threesome of McCartney, Stone and Cumming got on stage to follow up my performance of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” with “Part of Your World.”

Alan Cumming Emma Stone Paul McCartney
Photo by Jeff Eason (Wilsonmodels)

They asked the audience not to record the moment with their phones but instead to record the moment with their hearts. Everyone gladly obliged, and we enjoyed the joyous notes despite some forgotten words. After the thunderous applause, McCartney, whose shirt read “I saw Paul McCartney in Brooklyn,” got out a harmonica and played some notes of a song I probably should know but don’t.

Afterwards, the stars rejoined the crowd and Cumming took to the DJ booth to make the people dance. From Abba to Donna Summer, everyone was on their feet, shaking and grooving with their hands up in the air and their phones out of sight. And oh yeah, Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters was hanging out, too.

Photo by Alexander Kacala

McCartney danced with everybody. People came up to him and when his security tried to push them away, he insisted that they stay by his side to dance. He honestly out-danced many of the people there 30 years his junior.

I gabbed with Stone who complimented my song and told me I inspired them to sing some more Little Mermaid. I told her she was wonderful, and that even though I don’t know anyone at Disney I will put in a good word for her to play Ariel if they ever make a live-action version of the animated classic.

As they began to leave, McCartney said, “Goodbye” to me. I thanked him for being so kind to everyone, and he returned with thanking me for my song. He shook my hand, and walked out into the night.

The whole evening was a beautiful amalgamation of really random moments that only a city like New York can deliver and only a bar like Club Cumming can host.

Who knows what will happen there next? You just have to go and find out for yourself… in real life.

 

Featured image by Jeff Eason (Wilsonmodels)