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La Cage aux Folles in the news

“Warm and winning!  Terry Johnson’s inspired production is greatly affecting entertainment.

Douglas Hodge’s “I Am What I Am” is the most electric interpretation of a song on Broadway right now.”


“Riotously funny!

LA CAGE could not be more timely or enjoyable.”


! The Musical Revival of the Year!  A Sensation!”


“Funny, heartwarming and terrific!”

Steven Suskin, VARIETY

“Starring the endearing Kelsey Grammer and the astonishing Douglas Hodge,

LA CAGE is one of the happy surprises of the season!”

Linda Winer, NEWSDAY



LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, the critically acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning production of the Tony Award-winning musical, opened on Broadway to rave reviews Sunday night at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street).  The production stars five-time Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer and Olivier Award-winner Douglas Hodge.  

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, featuring music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, is directed by Terry Johnson and choreographed by Lynne Page.  

The production has been in the news lately.  Here are some recent stories about LA CAGE AUX FOLLES on Broadway:
A Man of Pinter … Sings in a Wig 
By Patrick Healy
April 18, 2010

At a rehearsal of the Broadway musical “La Cage aux Folles” this month the British actor Douglas Hodge paused during the number “The Best of Times” to hash out a detail with the director, Terry Johnson. Mr. Hodge asked if he could improvise where to sit on the lip of the stage as he banters with the audience midway through the song. “There will be people who are too embarrassed to talk back to me,” Mr. Hodge explained. Mr. Johnson said he trusted the actor to choose his spot; nodding, Mr. Hodge began silently conversing with invisible theatergoers, feigning delight at their imagined responses.

Technical precision can easily be overshadowed in the colorful performances of “La Cage,” especially for actors in Mr. Hodge’s role of the drag diva Albin, who performs under the stage name Zaza and who, in Act II, dons a skirt and pearls to become another character’s mother. But Mr. Hodge, a classically trained actor who is best known in British theater as a collaborator of the Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, is aiming for a performance that is more than boas, belting and bravura outbursts. It is that sort of performance that the show’s Broadway producers are hoping will separate this “Cage” from the previous New York incarnations, as well as from the well-known 1996 film adaptation “The Birdcage,” in which Nathan Lane played the Albin character, called Albert.

“This character is needy in the extreme, full of terribly complex emotions and impulses, as Albin, as Zaza, as Mother,” Mr. Hodge said in an interview after he arrived in New York in March. “ ‘La Cage’ is not a Pinter play, but Albin shares the desperation and yearning of big Pinter characters. That’s what I want to bring out here.”

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

Broadway is sweet on David Babani 
By Patrick Pacheco

April 20, 2010

A photographer is trying to figure out how best to shoot David Babani when the 32-year-old British producer of the Broadway revivals of “La Cage Aux Folles” and “A Little Night Music” puckishly offers a suggestion.

“Can’t you strap me into a harness and suspend me between the two theaters?” he says, sitting in the lobby of the Longacre Theatre — where “La Cage” opened Sunday to strong reviews — directly opposite the Walter Kerr, home of “A Little Night Music.” “You could Photoshop it out later. Very Cagelle.”

The Cagelles are the androgynous kickline of gorgeous creatures — “half real and half fluff” — who populate Jerry Herman’s 1983 musical “La Cage.” Babani himself is a different sort of creature: half ambitious creativity, half savvy businessman — and all passion.

That has catapulted him in a short time to astonishing success as the artistic director of the Menier Chocolate Factory, a 160-seat theater-cum-restaurant in an unfashionable London district. Since transforming the former Victorian factory into a hip London gathering place six years ago, Babani has seen eight of his productions transferred to London’s West End, including a revival of “Sunday in the Park With George” and the current “Sweet Charity.”

To read the complete article, click on the following link

Drag and Drop Dead Gorgeous  
April 18, 2010

Douglas Hodge is transformed from his own face into that of Zaza, the stage name of his character, Albin, in the new Broadway revival of “La Cage aux Folles.” (Drag the bar up to reveal the full transformation.)
Click here to view the feature:

From a Tiny London Stage, Big Musical Hits 
National Public Radio
April 18, 2010

On April 18, a new production of La Cage aux Folles opens on Broadway, right across the street from a hit revival of A Little Night Music. Both shows began their lives at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a tiny London theater that has become a powerhouse for revivals of American musicals.

And fun fact? It really used to be an old chocolate factory.

Located in a formerly derelict industrial building south of the Thames, the Menier sits across from a row of nondescript offices. The theater itself is minuscule, seating less than 200 people, and the audience in the first row could literally reach out and touch the actors.

Click here to hear the feature:

How the Caged Bird Sings 
Playbill Magazine
By Ruth Leon
April, 2010

Jerry Herman has made a career out of creating shows that have you swishing down the stairs and singing a song as you exit the theatre. Herman’s musicals include Mack and Mabel, Mame and Hello, Dolly!, and they’ve always got an “11 o’clock number,” the song that sends you out into the night singing — even if that number isn’t necessarily sung at the very end of the show, when it’s near 11 o’clock. This usually involves a big lady in a big hat singing a big song on a big staircase, even if — as in the case of La Cage aux Folles, now at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre — she is a he.

This is the show that boasts not one but two 11 o’clock numbers — “I Am What I Am” and “The Best of Times” — and a whole bunch of what could be termed “10 o’clock numbers” to go along with them. But it isn’t just Jerry Herman’s score that made such a popular musical; it is also Harvey Fierstein’s funny and poignant book (based on a French play and movie) and the subject — a longtime, devoted marriage shaken by a son’s choice of fiancée. It’s not giving anything away to say that the marriage is between Albin — alias Zaza, a drag queen — and Georges, who had a one-night stand with a woman that resulted in the birth of the son to whom the men are both passionately devoted. Now their son is in love with a nice girl whose father happens to be a local functionary hell-bent on closing down Georges’ nightclub and silencing his star, the drag queen Zaza.

In 1983 there were those who thought that Broadway might not be prepared to welcome a “fathers of the bridegroom” love story. As it turned out, the exuberant La Cage was received with rapture by critics and audiences, and ran for four years before an equally enthusiastic transfer to London’s West End.

Now the transfer is in the other direction. The Menier Chocolate Factory has already sent productions of Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music (currently playing with Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-Jones) to New York with great success. Now, La Cage aux Folles completes the hat trick.

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

Same Love, new frills 
By Cindy Adams

April 20, 2010

Broadway’s newest fall-down, blockbuster hit is that antique smash of 1983 “La Cage aux Folles,” which appears to be reincarnated more often than Barbra Streisand.
Being so cutting-edge smart that my opinions are sought by everyone in theater, I asked — “Why?

Why a show that everyone’s seen repeatedly and which only five years ago was resurrected on Broadway and sputtered into a fast coma?

Of course, this was before I actually saw the clever production, adored Kelsey Grammer and co-star Douglas Hodge, who plays Zaza, admired the kitschy redo of the inside of the Longacre — like with tables and chairs in the first row as though they were sitting at Zaza’s performance — and, naturally, before those rave reviews, and opening-night standing screaming ovations.

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

Kelsey Grammer returns to Broadway in “La Cage” 

By Robert Feldberg

April 11, 2010

The e-mail last November had a question:  Would Kelsey Grammer be interested in performing on Broadway, in a revival of “La Cage aux Folles”?

“I was doing ‘Hank’ at the time,” recalled Grammer, “and I sensed that it was not long for TV.”

Indeed, the sitcom, the actor’s second failed attempt to launch a new comedy series after “Frasier” ended its 11-year run in 2004, was soon canceled.

So, he was free – and eager – to return to the stage.

“I knew [‘La Cage’] had a great reputation, but I wasn’t familiar with the show itself. So, I flew to London to have a look.”

The production, which began at the intimate Menier Chocolate Factory – the source of an unusual number of acclaimed musical revivals – had moved on to the West End.

“I made a judgment that the role of Georges had a lot of possibilities that I could explore,”said Grammer, “and I agreed to do the show.”

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

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