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Michael Musto

Veggie Talk With Alan Cumming

Veggie Talk With Alan Cumming

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Plus: Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy do Love Letters (without tweets)

If you think Britney was vegging out (en route to the Chuck E. Cheese, lol) in the "15 Campiest Divas Videos" story, then hold on to your kashi waffles because I have some real meatless news for you. New York was named "the most vegan-friendly city" of the year when PETA (along with Alan Cumming) presented a skyline made of veggies to mayor Bill de Blasio last week. I hear the Chrysler Building was especially delicious.

In celebration, I joined PETA's Dan Mathews, Cumming, and others for a lunch at Blossom that day, where the Scottish actor gushed about the "edible edifices," none of which were made from the ever-trendy kale, refreshingly enough. (I asked.) Full of dietary vigor, Cumming is juggling The Good Wife on TV and Cabaret on Broadway, where he's excited to welcome Emma Stone into the cast soon.

I asked if he makes out with as many audience members as Neil Patrick Harris did in Hedwig (137, according to NPH), but he said he doesn't really make out with people during the show. It's more like taunting, teasing, and cajoling, Weimar-style.

Meanwhile, the ultimate taunter, the hilarious Joan Rivers, was all set to change her will so she'd give her furs to PETA in order for them to hand them to homeless people, but she died before the paperwork was finalized. Still, Mathews said he thinks he can work it out with Melissa, to achieve a warm result. And a PETA rep told me in all seriousness that the veggie Chrysler Building had been given to a homeless person that day! I'm on the waiting list for the entire Duane Read chain,

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Mia Farrow & Brian Dennehy in 'Love Letters' | Photo by Carol Rosegg

LOVE AND LOSS WTH THE EPISTOLARY SET

It may seem as intricate as a vegetable skyline of New York, but A. R. Gurney 's 1988 play Love Letters is actually constructed for a minimum of fuss. For one thing, it involves two--and only two--actors sitting at a table. What's more, they read the script as they go along, so there's no fear of anyone stumbling around and yelling "Line!" And in a few weeks, another two actors come along, so you can enjoy the benefits of stunt casting as well as the knowledge that no one will ever tire of doing this show. It's a producer's dream.

And it's good for the actors, too. They play wildly different characters named Melissa and Andrew, who share a lifetime of correspondence about their loves, triumphs, humiliations, and bond. The artistically free-spirited Melissa generally wants to hear more about feelings, whereas future politician Andrew tends to be pragmatic and not as reliant on sentiment. The whole thing always struck me as a bit coy and a little too cute (despite very dark twists), but the Broadway production's first set of actors--Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow--are superb, wringing the most from the material with skill and affection. And I'm glad they didn't update the whole thing to make it a series of Direct Messages on Twitter. Still, it would be nice if it was tinkered around with so the roles could be played by Neil Patrick Harris and Alan Cumming!

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