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The first, and perhaps most pressing question, is why?

Why would Alan Cumming, the rakish Scottish movie star, television trail blazer, Broadway VIP, and cabaret performer re-create his East Village nightclub on a petite stage at a tony hotel in Maine? The idea of it makes as much sense as an Ethel Merman disco album. However both are reality. The waterfront version Club Cumming opens this weekend at the Kennebunkport Inn as “Club Cumming on the Coast.” It’s best we saying nothing further about Merman’s disco album.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have some summer fun?” Cumming said on a Zoom interview from Australia. “Getting the performers from Club Cumming together by the seaside after a very difficult year sounded like a brilliant idea. And I love the idea of Kennebunkport. It seems to be the preppiest place in the US, and the best place to go and take something a little spicy and a little saucy.”

What exactly is Club Cumming? It’s a New York hole-in-the-wall, kitchen sink of fun in the East Village. It’s the kind of place where Paul McCartney might end up walking in and singing (he did), the coat check boy winds up a star performer (also true), and Cumming is behind the bar mixing cocktails (again, accurate). It’s a New York experience that sounds absolutely nothing like traditional Maine offerings.

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The full list of performers — it’ll be a rotating cast — has yet to be released, but Cumming said the lineup includes theater world stars, drag queens, and jazz acts. He said he’ll perform at the venue in July.

The 15-week residency of shows, which runs through Labor Day, is also for a good cause. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Actors Fund, an organization that assists performers along with behind-the-scenes workers. Reservations can be made on the Kennebunkport Inn’s website (KennebunkportInn.com). There is no cover, but a $100 minimum food and beverage purchase is required. That minimum will be higher when bigger-name stars are performing.

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Sadly, Cumming is leaving some of the more salacious club performers at home, such as Canadian artist Brent Ray Fraser, who uses an important appendage of his body as a paintbrush. The club’s burlesque dancers will also not be in attendance. But he is bringing several other of the club’s regulars.

“It’s not the entire content of Club Cumming, it’s sort of the oeuvre,” Cumming said while using his fingers to comb through the tumbleweed of hair that defied gravity and stood upright atop his head. “I don’t know the full lineup yet, but I know there’s going to be some drag queens, singers. It’s not so much that we’re going to come and show our knickers. It’s more just about the spirit of it. That’s my whole thing with Club Cumming. I think it’s always to try and present people with something unexpected, something they aren’t used to, and to make them not afraid of it anymore.”

The al fresco shows in a town that was once nicknamed “Kennebushport” as a nod to George H.W. Bush’s summer home, will also be a new experience for some of its New York performers and artistic guiding hands.

“I thought a lot about being in Maine since I helped Martha Stewart remove all the taxidermy from the Ford estate [on Mount Desert Island],” said Lance Horne, the co-curator of this summer’s lineup. “I think this is going to be easier.”

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It will also be an adjustment for culture-seekers in Southern Maine. Paul Bagley, who is producing the shows and performing drag under the name EJ Garlands, said the disco ball has been ordered.

“I hope the town loves red velvet,” he said.

That ambrosia salad of entertainment isn’t entirely different from Cumming’s whiplash-inducing career. His professional life has been so unwieldy that when he was pulling together the timeline for his forthcoming memoir “Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life,” he found himself researching his career to remember the things that he’s done. When he found himself on a trajectory of starring in Hollywood blockbusters such as “GoldenEye” and “X2: X-Men Reunited,” he decided to veer off into independent films and television and headed back to the stage.

Club Cumming was birthed while Cumming was appearing in a 2014 revival of “Cabaret” at Studio 54. The evening after-parties in his dressing room weren’t too dissimilar from the “Cabaret” ethos, with all ages, genders, colors, and sexualities gathered for a good time. He wanted to bring that experience to a broader audience.

“I remember looking over and someone’s mum was talking to Meryl Streep,” he recalled of those dressing room parties. “It wasn’t so much about performance, but I remember one time we were searching for a piece of wood so this South American guy could tap dance for us. I loved that.”

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It’s seems that Cumming’s schedule would already be too chaotic to toss Club Cumming on the Coast into the mix. At the time of this interview he had just arrived in Australia for a two-week quarantine, which will be followed by performances with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, where he also serves as artistic director.

“I’m fearless,” he said. “I quite like that word because I think in our jobs and careers, people spend too much time worrying about the perception. I realized that you guide the perception. I only work for me, and if I want to go and do something, I’ll do it.”

For more details and updates on performers, go to KennebunkportInn.com or call 207-967-2621.


Christopher Muther can be reached at christopher.muther@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.