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Review: ‘La Cage’ Smashes Previous Revivals on Broadway

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Review: ‘La Cage’ Smashes Previous Revivals on Broadway

La Cage aux Folles - Douglas Hodge and Kelsey Grammer, Broadway, New York City

Joan Marcus

The Bottom Line

If you want to see true magic on stage, go see Douglas Hodge, Kelsey Grammer, and the rest of the amazing cast of Broadway’s La Cage aux Folles. Treat yourself to this one-of-a-kind star vehicle happening eight shows a week at the Longacre Theatre at 220 West 48th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

The show’s running time is 2 hours 40 minutes, with a 20 minute intermission. Recommended for audience members aged 10 and older, get ready to be amazed by the spectacular, colorful musical comedy that is La Cage aux Folles.

Pros

  • Excellent cast.
  • Gorgeous costumes and sets.
  • Fun and engaging performances.

Cons

  • Getting tickets can be hard. Keep trying!

Description

  • La Cage is a treasure trove of memorable moments. Get your tickets soon!
  • Kelsey Grammer makes his Broadway musical debut in a brilliant performance as nightclub owner "Albin."
  • Douglas Hodge is worthy of the Tony Award!

Guide Review - Review: ‘La Cage’ Smashes Previous Revivals on Broadway

The 2010 Broadway revival of the Jerry Herman/Harvey Fierstein campy romp, La Cage aux Folles, has ignited the New York theatre scene with re-envisioned flare. A hit on London’s West End, La Cage has brought the traditional book musical back to the glittering forefront of Broadway.

La Cage features award-winning television star Kelsey Grammer with Broadway-newbie Douglas Hodge. An intimate incarnation, this version has been pared down, focusing on the love story between flamboyant “Albin” and the more tame “Georges.” A cozy nightclub atmosphere provides the backdrop for bejeweled and feathered costumes, high-kicking dance numbers, and outstanding performances.

Based on a French film of the same name, La Cage aux Folles follows cabaret club owner “Georges” and drag diva “Albin” attempting to pass as a traditional married man and (female) wife when “Albin’s” son “Jean-Michel” arrives with his fiancée “Anne Dindon.” Hilarity ensues when the truth comes out, but the show is about acceptance and unconditional love. And the performances of this stellar cast absolutely convey the message.

Douglas Hodge has graced the stages of London's West End, winning the prestigious Olivier award. Perfect in every way as “Albin,” Hodge not only sings and dances brilliantly, he has amazing comedic timing in his dialogue scenes.

Anyone familiar with Kelsey Grammer in his iconic role of “Frasier” can attest that he can sing. But Grammer's stage savvy and graceful aplomb perfectly suit the role of La Cage owner, “Georges,” with his beautifully balanced baritone timbre delivering some of the most poignant moments in the show.

On the other extreme are the “Cagelles,” the male drag dancers at the club. Beautifully attired in colorful wigs and dangerously high heels, the triple-threat “Cagelles” are some of the most beautiful, graceful men you will see on Broadway.

The highlight of the show comes when Hodge sings the ultimate torch song, “I Am What I Am.” His approach is simple, honest, and direct, beginning in an almost talk-sing style and building to a crescendo of masterful vocal delivery. If you are lucky enough to get tickets for the cabaret tables near the stage, you truly have the best seat in the house for Hodge’s brilliant performance.

The cast is rounded out by A.J. Shively as “Jean-Michel,” and Elaine Shaddow, as his fiancée “Anne.” The uptight in-laws, “M. and Mme. Dindon,” are perfectly played by Fred Applegate and Veanne Cox, respectively.

Directed by Terry Johnson, every detail has been meticulously tended, raising a tired old show to an echelon of inspired vision. The campy musical dance numbers balance out with the subtle staging of choreographer Lynne Page. The costumes by Matthew Wright are a musical theatre performer’s dream wardrobe, and the sets by Tim Shortall are the definition of ingenuity harmonizing with simplicity.

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