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Up next is HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra,” in which he plays Liberace’s boyfriend opposite Michael Douglas in the title role, and two indie films _ “Mutual Friends” with Caitlin Fitzgerald and “Lucky Stiff,” a musical with Jason Alexander. He can currently be seen in Michael Walker’s workplace tale “Price Check.”

He’s perhaps most excited about the album, not yet titled. It’s a collection of songs he’s written with Sia Furler. Two songs have been released _ “Drive” and “Before You” _ and he hopes to have the entire CD finished by spring.

“I love harmonies and I love big hooks. I love really melodic things and I love lyrics that are relatable,” he says, adding that his music has elements of George Michael, Sting, pop and world beat.

He’s discovered that he has a talent for writing songs and has just sold his first one to a European singer. Testing the water by releasing a safe CD wasn’t an option. “I didn’t just want to do `Cheyenne Jackson Sings Gershwin.’ That’s not interesting to me,” he says.

Jackson’s sporting two new tattoos _ an initial “Z” on his inner right arm and the initial “M” on his inner left.

The “M” is for his husband, physicist Monte Lapka, the man he married last year after 12 years of dating. His secret for a good union? “Two bathrooms will make a marriage last, I believe,” he says with a laugh.

The “Z” has a sadder origin: It’s for his 9-year-old adopted Rottweiler mix Zora, who died of cancer in March. Jackson points to the spot where the tattoo was inked and says he was holding her there when she died. “That’s exactly where her heart stopped beating. It was so life changing for Monty and I both that I just thought, `I need to honor that spot with something.’”

Jackson and Lapka didn’t plan to adopt another dog after their heartbreak, but Bernadette Peters, the actress and animal rescue activist, sent them a photo four months ago of a homeless mutt who melted their hearts. Brillo is now a happy member of their family.

Jackson’s year of change will culminate in Washington, D.C. He’s due to sing music from the “Mad Men” era at the Kennedy Center with members of the National Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 31. That’s a sober New Year’s Eve for him.

“I’m not drinking now anyway so it’ll be easy-breezy,” he says with a smile.

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Online:

http://www.theperformersonbroadway.com

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Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits