BY Don Howell
“I grew up listening to classic rock with my dad in the car,” says Marti Gould Cummings, gearing up to perform a celebration of ‘90s rock at 54 Below on April 1. “The first concert I ever went to was Eric Clapton when I was 8. That same year, my dad took me to see Fleetwood Mac.”
Along with his band, Marti and the Cummers, everyone’s favorite drodge queen will sing songs from Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Green Day, and Rod Stewart. He also plans to throw in a number or two from Peter, Paul & Mary; Pat Benatar; and Elvis. Eric Miranda, a frequent collaborator with Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin, will lead the band, and several friends in the theatre community will lend their voices.
Cady Huffman, a Tony Award winner for her role as Ulla in The Producers, will sing “Stairway to Heaven” with Cummings. Hernando Umana and Michelle Dowdy will join him on a Stevie Nicks number. We spoke to Cummings as he prepared for the show.
How do you get ready for a show?
I put on some music, dance around in my underwear for about an hour, eat, realize I am running out of time and start painting my face.
Are you channeling your inner David Bowie for the show at 54 Below?
You can say that! Like Bowie, although I often dress in women’s clothing, I do not consider myself a drag queen. I am a performer who simply bends the rules a little.
What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done while on stage?
Have you seen my show? The entire thing is outrageous!
Yes, but what moment really stands out?
That would probably be the musical at Webster Hall. I had to fake an orgasm while getting eaten out…and sing a rock song at the same time.
What’s your most fabulous possession?
My Louboutin heels.
Are they comfortable?
What does comfort matter? It’s like an art. Rock classics are completely new territory for me. But I’m an artist. It’s important to try new things out of your comfort zone.
When are you happiest?
In front of a laughing audience.
On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate the past 12 months of your life?
A twelve. Life is a journey. You take the good with the bad, and you grow and learn.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?
Being sober for five years.
Do you have a life motto?
Fear into faith.
Finish this sentence. I feel gayest when…
All the time, because, duh, I’m gay.
Marti Gould Cummings and his band, Marti and the Cummers, perform 54 Below on April 1.For more information, visit facebook.com/marti.g.cummings.