Wednesday, January 19, 2011

La Cage Aux Folles

I'll admit it: I'm kind of a Kelsey Grammer fan. Maybe it comes from the millions of episodes of Cheers I used to watch with my dad when I was a kid. Or the episodes of Fraiser as I got older. Who knows. But I like him. I always have.

Last year when La Cage Aux Folles opened and I found out that Kelsey Grammer was in it I was kind of excited. But at the time, the storyline didn't really seem like something that would go at the top of my list of shows to see... so I skipped it when I was in New York in May.

By the time this trip rolled around I had read enough about the show and seen some clips and decided it was right down my alley.

My roommate that I travel with, and a friend that lives in New York went with me to see La Cage. I found some decent deals on tickets, but they were in the balcony. Even so, the show was fantastic and made me laugh all the way through.

In case you don't know the premise of the story, it is about Georges and his longtime partner Albin. Georges runs La Cage, a popular drag club, and Albin is the star of La Cage. Their son, Jean-Michel falls in love with a girl who's father is a super conservative politician.

As you can probably guess, comedy ensues when the two families meet, with Albin posing as Georges' wife and Jean-Michel trying to hide the truth of his family from his future in-laws. And in the end the truth of family and love comes shining through.

Jacob, the family butler (or maid, depending on who you asked!) was played with great comedy and flair by Robin de Jesus. He added a great touch to the show. Kelsey Grammer was fantastic in his role as Georges. He had just enough comedic lines to make him funny, but just enough serious lines to see that he was really worried about his son more than anything in the world. His career in theatre has given him a rich history to draw from and his film and television work have given him a great are to pull from comedically.

The winner of the whole show, by a long shot was Douglas Hodge. Even though this was his Broadway debut he absolutely without a doubt deserved that Tony he won. His facial expressions and projection abilities were amazing. We were sitting in the balcony and could see each and every facial expression and movement he made. He was extremely funny and the star of the show.
There are people out there who have issues with people from Hollywood staring in a Broadway show, calling it stunt casting...well, all I have to say to that is that if they are good, then it's not stunt casting. And Douglas Hodge, even with a career solidly in film and television, was NOT stunt casting.
My advice: for a great laugh, go see this show. But, if you want to see Grammer and Hodge, you only have until February 13th. After that Jeffrey Tambor and Harvey Fierstein will be assuming the leads in the show. Either way, I'm sure the show will continue to be amazing all the way.

2010 Tony Award Best Revival of a Musical
2010 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical - Douglas Hodge
2010 Tony Award Best Direction of a Musical - Terry Johnson
2010 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical
2010 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical - Douglas Hodge
2010 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Costume Design - Matthew Wright
*All info taken from

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