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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.”

Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES


“Riotously funny! LA CAGE could not be more timely or enjoyable.”

Mike Kuchwara, ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

“Utterly absorbing.  Terry Johnson gives the text and the actors a new dimension. It’s something real, felt, and deep.”

Hilton Als, THE NEW YORKER


“Five Stars (out of five)! The Musical Revival of the Year!  A Sensation!”

Adam Feldman, TIME OUT NEW YORK


“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

IN THE NEWS

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, the critically acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning production of the Tony Award-winning musical, opened on Broadway to rave reviews on Sunday, April 18 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.  

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES has been nominated for four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge) and Outstanding Director of a Musical (Terry Johnson).  LA CAGE has been nominated for three Drama League Awards, including Distinguished Revival of a Musical and Distinguished Performance (Kelsey Grammer, Douglas Hodge).  

The production has been in the news lately.  Here are some recent stories about LA CAGE AUX FOLLES on Broadway:

Douglas Hodge gives the performance of a lifetime in La Cage aux Folles 
Vogue.com
By Adam Green
April 26, 2010
Are you one of those people who rue the fact that they’re too young to have seen Piaf at the Olympia music hall or Judy at the Palace? Well, get over it—and get to the Longacre Theater, where you can experience the electric charge of watching a great star expose her soul as she reaches out across the footlights to an adoring audience.

In this case, however, the star is no lady—he only dresses like one. And he’s not really a drag queen, either—he only plays one onstage. His name is Douglas Hodge, an English actor best known for his Shakespeare and Pinter. And in the joyous revival of La Cage aux Folles that opened on Sunday night, he’s giving the kind of virtuoso performance of which musical-theater legends are made.

Wait a second. La Cage aux Folles? Wasn’t the 1983 hit musical just revived—and terribly—less than six years ago? As an immigration agent at Kennedy airport remarked to Hodge after the actor explained why he had come to New York: “My God—they’re doing that again?”

Yes, but this crackerjack production from London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, directed with sensitivity and panache by Terry Johnson, gives the show a new gleam, transforming a sentimental comedy about marriage and family values (with a tossed-in lesson about tolerance) into a raucously funny, profoundly moving story of love and identity lost and found.

To read the complete feature, click on the following link:
http://www.vogue.com/voguedaily/2010/04/theater-douglas-hodge-gives-the-performance-of-a-lifetime-in-la-cage-aux-folles/

These are the best of times for Kelsey Grammer 
Newsday
By Daniel Bubbeo
April 26, 2010
Kelsey Grammer is in the pink these days, and not just because he does yoga with his daughter, actress Spencer Grammer. “Welcome to flamingo passion,” he says when entering his vividly painted dressing room at the Longacre Theatre, where he stars in a revival of “La Cage Aux Folles,” which opened last Sunday.

Equally colorful for the Emmy-winning actor is his wardrobe as Georges, the masculine half of “La Cage’s” gay couple, outfits that you’d be unlikely to find Grammer’s TV alter ego, Seattle shrink Frasier Crane, wearing.

Newsday’s Daniel Bubbeo recently chatted with Grammer, 55, about why he’s having a gay-old time doing “La Cage,” and whether his next gig could be in Washington, D.C.

What attracted you to this show?
I’m an actor, we like to try different things. It’s an iconic piece. I think the music is breathtaking, and the book is terrific. It’s actable, there are real scenes. It has dynamic issues. And it’s a love story. It’s a true love story. It might even be seen as a traditional fondness for relationships.

Even though the couple is gay?
Ever since the 1960s, the way I look at the world, the way it’s evolving, is that gay, straight, mixed-race, whatever you want to call it, is acceptable as long as the love is real. And the respect you have for one another is indicative of what would be considered a sacred relationship.

You’ve done musicals before, but this is the first time on Broadway. How is it singing and dancing after such a long time?
I’m not a dancer. (Laughs.) I’m jumping around on one leg. The dancing’s been fine. It’s not a big challenge. They’ve focused the choreography to fit my needs. . . . I’ve always liked singing. I started out singing. I got interested in the performing arts in the chorus. I was in some church groups when I was a kid. . . . Arguably, I’m an OK singer, I’m not as good a singer as I am an actor.

To read the complete interview, click on the following link:
http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/these-are-the-best-of-times-for-kelsey-grammer-1.1875847

Meet Douglas Hodge, the breakout star of La Cage aux Folles 
Broadway.com
By Kathy Henderson
April 22, 2010
Age: 50

Hometown: Born in Plymouth, England; now at home in Oxford, England

Currently: Making his Broadway debut in an acclaimed performance as Albin/Zaza, the aging headliner in a St. Tropez drag club (and loving partner of club owner Georges, played by Kelsey Grammer) in La Cage aux Folles.

Better Late Than Never: How does an Olivier Award-winning classical actor go decades without ever making it to Broadway? “It is odd,” Hodge says, relaxing in his powder blue dressing room at the Longacre Theatre. “I did endless Pinter plays, all of which were supposed to come here, and Guys and Dolls [as Nathan Detroit], which very nearly came but didn’t. And now here I am, in a great American musical.” Before the (ecstatic) reviews, Hodge summoned Jane Krakowski, his Guys and Dolls Adelaide, to check out the show’s third preview. “I was concerned that the audience wouldn’t understand my accent and my humor,” he explains. “Jane had done the same thing I’m doing now—gone to England as the only American in the production—and she was fantastically helpful. We went to a bar after the show to talk, and finally she said, ‘I just want your part,’ which was the best compliment she could give.”

To read the complete interview, click on the following link:
http://www.broadway.com/shows/la-cage-aux-folles/buzz/meet-douglas-hodge-breakout-star-ila-cage-aux-follesi/

Frasier Dons a Boa 
Wall Street Journal
By Ellen Gamerman
April 23, 2010
Kelsey Grammer has a love affair with a drag queen every night in his new role as a gay nightclub owner in “La Cage aux Folles,” a Broadway revival that opened to strong reviews on Sunday.

The 55-year-old Mr. Grammer—a believer in astrology, psychics and the paranormal— was last on Broadway a decade ago in “Macbeth.” The play, whose name, theater legend has it, is not to be uttered in a theater, closed 10 days after it opened.

This week, the outspoken Republican surfaced as a spokesman for RightNetwork, a conservative television outlet. The supporter of same-sex marriage is trying to put politics aside on stage, where he can be found in a purple crushed-velvet jacket, mingling with men in feathers.

The Wall Street Journal: What’s the trick to playing this role?
Mr. Grammer: The real task is to make sure the voice stays in shape and the singing stays. I started out singing when I was a kid but I haven’t done any sustained singing performances in some time in my life, and it’s very challenging.

Does the play have a political message?
I hope not. My take on homosexual, heterosexual, transgender relationships, interracial relationships, it’s all up to you and the person you love, and frankly I’ve never thought that politics and marriage mixed in any way. So I’m not a big proponent of big government being in charge of weddings.

To read the complete interview, click on the following link:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303348504575183860497209150.html?KEYWORDS=Kelsey+GRammer

Late Show with David Letterman 
CBS Network
April 23, 2010
Kelsey Grammer recently sat down with late night host David Letterman to discuss his currently running Broadway show, La Cage aux Folles, and how he balances his work and family life.

To watch the interview, click on the following link:
http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/STAGE_TUBE_Kelsey_Grammer_on_Letterman_20000101

Kelsey Grammer’s return to the Great White Way 
Broadway’s smell of greasepaint brings a sitcom star home in triumph
Toronto Star
By Richard Ouzounian
April 24, 2010

Broadway received an amazing lesson last week in resiliency, style and grace.

I guess you could call it a Grammer lesson. A Kelsey Grammer lesson, in fact.

The man who made Dr. Frasier Crane a household name during 464 episodes of Cheers and Frasier has come back in triumph to the Great White Way, where he had crashed and burned spectacularly a decade before.

What makes his critically acclaimed performance as Georges in the musical La Cage Aux Folles so sweet today is the memory of the drubbing he took in June 2000 when he played the title role in a universally disliked production of Macbeth.

Ask most actors about such a low point in their careers and they will quickly switch the topic, but Grammer isn’t most actors. The 55-year-old performer has been through so many ups and downs in his life that he once quipped, “You’d have to hire an elevator operator to write my biography.”

On this particular morning, he’s ready to discuss just why he brought a show that had already been roasted in no uncertain terms on the road in to face certain destruction in New York.

“I had one very simple reason,” he says from his Manhattan apartment. “I had promised the cast we were going to Broadway. There were a lot of very young people in that company and I felt I couldn’t disappoint them. That was, quite simply, the decent way to do this thing.”

So Grammer took the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” in his stride and returned to California, where he was earning a reported $700,000 an episode to continue as Frasier.

But he wanted to succeed in the theatre. “To tell you the truth, that was the only real dream I ever had growing up. Movies? Television? They never crossed my radar.”

To read the complete interview, click on the following link:
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/theatre/article/800084–kelsey-grammer-s-return-to-the-great-white-way

The Theatre – Caged Heat  
The New Yorker
by Hilton Als
May 3, 2010

What makes the director Terry Johnson’s utterly absorbing revival of “La Cage aux Folles” (at the Longacre) so subversive is the way he insures that the straight characters in the musical have no real power on the stage. His method is as direct as the plot of the show, which is based on a 1973 play by the French writer Jean Poiret, with a book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman…

The original production was all brassy orchestration, sparkly costumes, and shallow characterizations. As I remember it, the director of that staging, Arthur Laurents, tipped it in the direction of the Dindons—the thrust of the show was Georges and Albin’s need for the Dindons’ approval, and hence the straight world drove the events onstage. Johnson goes a different route; he focuses, instead, on the heart of the material—whether Georges and Albin’s relationship will survive the emotional and political rupture that their son has instigated. Like John Doyle, in his direction of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” and “Company” a few years ago, Johnson strips the Broadway from “La Cage aux Folles” and gives the text, and the actors, a new dimension. His production is not the heterosexual’s fantasia of gay life; it’s something real, felt, and deep.

To read the complete review, click on the following link:
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/theatre/2010/05/03/100503crth_theatre_als

Size Matters 
Wall Street Journal
By Terry Teachout
April 23, 2010
Now that money is tight in the world of theater, small-scale productions of large-scale Broadway musicals are popping up everywhere. Some are illuminating, others constrictingly ill-conceived. The Menier Chocolate Factory’s revival of “La Cage aux Folles,” which has transferred to Broadway after a hugely successful London run, belongs in the first category—and then some.

To read the complete review, click on the following link:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704448304575196330875960958.html 

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www.LaCage.com 

 

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