La Cage is A Master Piece
On Saturday January 29th 2011, I attended the 2010 Broadway revival of La Cage Aux Folles. The production which has been a success since its inception as a revival in London in 2008 was nothing short of what I expected and absolutely delivered making it a perfect piece of musical theatre.
La Cage features a book by Harvey Fierstein with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. The musical focuses on the story of Georges and Albin, a gay couple who own a nightclub featuring drag entertainment and their lives are significantly affected when Jean-Michel, Georges son, brings his fiances conservative parents to visit. The story could not be told at a better time on Broadway considering current events this year and past that deal with the subject matter.
Kelsey Grammer delivers a fun and entertaining show for all in the part of Georges. His charming personality and ease on stage helps bring to life the show and delivers humor in the best possible moments. His voice, which I will admit surprised me, was great and really allowed all of his numbers to move the piece smoothly. His relationship he creates with co-star Douglas Hodge, as Albin/Zaza, was not only believable but emotional at times.
“Douglas Hodge gives the performance of a lifetime”
Never in my life have I seen someone give so much to one role on the Broadway stage as Hodge doesfor Albin/Zaza. He received the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for 2010 and it would have been a crime if he hadn’t. He captivated the audience from the first moment he entered the stage and left people breathless with his “I Am What I Am” which ends Act 1. His performance leaves a legacy and has earned a spot as a role he will forever be remembered as playing.
You’re very lucky when you attend a show in which not only do the name’s deliver, but the ensemble only furthers that. La Cage is a perfect example. Robin De’Jesus, who stars as Jacob, could be responsible for half of the audience wetting themselves. Almost seeming to play himself at times, De’Jesus is ridiculously hilarious and brings only joy to the production in the most ridiculous ways. The “Les Cagelles”, which include Nick Adams, Logan Keslar, Sean Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Cunningham, Terry Lavell and Sean A. Carmon, are some of the fiercest people on the Broadway stage in recent years. Whether it came to a song or performing ridiculous choreography, these cagelles are one of a kind.
The production was also technically pleasing to watch. The scaled down production when it came to lights and sets did not shove the show’s plot line in your face like recent revivals have. The lighting and scenery helped create the master piece that La Cage is with transitions running smoothly and changes in location absolutely flawless and unnoticed. The technical designers should be applauded as well as their work admired.
La Cage Aux Folles is currently playing at The Longacre Theatre on West 48th Street. Kelsey Grammer, Douglas Hodge and Robin De’Jesus will depart the production on Febuary 13th. Replacing Grammer are Hodge are, book writer himself, Harey Fierstein as Albin/Zaza and Jeffery Tambor as Georges. For more information please visit: The Official Website for LA Cage on Broadway