Theatre Review: "La Cage Aux Folles"
by Jonathan Warman
Nobody covers drag queens like I do! For well over 10 years, I’ve been to every nook and cranny of this dirty town to see all kinds of drag acts. All I needed from them was a press release that let me know that they’d done something with their act to bring it to the level of a cabaret performance or a theatrical evening, and I’d be there. And like any show queen worth their salt, I’ve also seen plenty of plain old drag shows in bars from the glitzy to the grimy. Often enough, I’d find the greatest geniuses lip-synching in the bars, and the biggest fakes charging legit prices for their wares in Midtown.
So when I heard that Brit director Terry Johnson had concocted a production of La Cage aux Folles that had more to do with grimy gay bar geniuses than Vegas glitter, I was deeply intrigued. That production, originally at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, has made it to Broadway, and I have to say that it’s the most authentic, fun and touching version of this drag-centric story I’ve ever even heard of.
Georges (Kelsey Grammer) is the impresario of a trashy but charming drag club in St. Tropez on the French Riviera, where his husband, high-strung drag performer Albin (Douglas Hodge), is the star. They lead a happy existence, until their son announces his engagement to the daughter of a conservative right-wing politician — who’s coming to dinner.
This production announces its intentions right away, with its drag chorus, Les Cagelles. They’re not the collection of drag chorines you see in other productions of La Cage. They are six individual drag queens corralled into performing together. The casting of such distinctive performers as Terry Lavell, Nick Adams and Sean Patrick Doyle signals right away that any of the girls they play could headline. I’m not as familiar with the other Cagelles, but they make just as sharp an impression.
I also don’t think I’ve seen an Albin that’s as believably a drag diva as the one Hodge gives us. He doesn’t just add a fey layer to the songs he sings, as some Albins do. He sings this line as Piaf, this line as Dietrich, and his line readings are every bit as delicately over-the-top as, say, Charles Busch. Grammer has a surprising sweetness and warmth as Georges, and together they are a truly endearing couple.
Johnson has also taken great care to create the world of 1970s St. Tropez, the better to make sense of the place that Albin and George have in it. There are certain locals who “get” them, some others not quite so much. Johnson has brought a level of realism and detail that La Cage has never had before, making it more poignant, stirring and tender — and more entertaining — than ever before.
For tickets, click here.
For more reviews and interviews by Jonathan Warman, see dramaqueennyc.blog.
I visit your website practically every day and i love what are you doing with it. Numerous intresting posts on plenty of hot topics and trends and also you have skill at writing http://www.watcheslux.blog. I often come across new things with your help and for that i say thank you with all my heart. Carry on this excellent work that you're performing. Bye!
Posted by: Richie watches | May 8, 2010 06:37 AM
great comment, I totally agree. reading these post always helps. it's like getting a second opinion.
Posted by: Salvage Architectural | May 11, 2010 10:07 AM
Nice posting from the author! The information are well said. After reading this, you would ask yourself if you write personal statement effectively. Next time simply follow what the author suggests and add your personal touch on it.
Posted by: myspace glitter graphics | June 9, 2010 01:12 AM
Thank you for your help!
Posted by: replica handbags | June 9, 2010 02:41 AM
To start earning money with your blog, initially use Google Adsense but gradually as your traffic
Posted by: replica handbags | June 9, 2010 03:51 AM
has anyone bought here ? www.architectural-antiques-shop.blog or am i going to get ripped off ?
Posted by: myspace glitter graphics | June 9, 2010 05:25 AM
Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it's nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer. Thanks.
Posted by: myspace glitter graphics | June 9, 2010 06:40 AM
I finally decided to drop a comment, and let me tell you this is another very strong and powerful post. I've been reading through some of your previous posts and have been visiting your blog every now and then. I signed up for your newsletter and shared your site with my contacts, so please keep up the informative posts and return the favor. :)
Good luck on your blog, and feel free to comment and subscribe to my blog as well when you get a chance: Make Money Online with Dino Vedo.
Thanks so much, and lets stay connected and maybe share some ideas, do some guest posts, and get us both some more traffic and backlinks!
All the best,
Posted by: Make Money Online | June 20, 2010 07:04 AM
Posted by: Gain Muscle Fast | June 25, 2010 04:16 AM
Thanks for your visiting this www.watchau.blog and www.glamour-watches.blog online stor.
Posted by: replica watches | June 26, 2010 10:40 PM
Thanks for your visiting this www.glamouredhardy.blog online store.
Posted by: ed hardy | June 27, 2010 03:12 AM