BWW REVIEW: 'LA CAGE AUX FOLLES' THIS BIRD DOESN'T SING AT NSMT
Book by Harvey Fierstein; music and lyrics by Jerry Herman; based on the play La Cage aux Folles by Jean Poiret; scenic design, Bert Scott; costume design, Marcia Zammarelli; lighting design, Martin E. Vreeland; sound design, Christopher M. Evans; wig design, Gerard Kelly; production stage manager, John Godbout and Shawn Pryby; music direction, Dale Rieling; choreography, Michael Lichtefeld; directed by Charles Repole
Cast in Order of Appearance:
Georges, Charles Shaughnessy; Les Cagelles, Erika Odegard, Milly Boyce, Giovanni Bonaventura, Kevin Santos, Lucas Thompson, Leeds Hill, John Jacob Lee, Brett Michael Lockley, Jacob Paulson, and Shane Hall; Francis, Stacey Todd Holt; Babette, Lizzy Palmer; Jacob, Nikko Kimzin; Albin, Jonathan Hammond; Jean-Michel, Zach Trimmer; Anne, Stephanie Martignetti; Etienne, Joshua Charles Skurnik; Jacqueline, Paula Leggett Chase; M. Renaud, Al Bundonis; Mme. Renaud, Ellen Peterson; M. Dindon, Larry Cahn; Mme. Dindon, Maureen Brennan
Performances and Tickets:
Now through October 6, North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly, Mass.; tickets priced from $45-$75, available on line at www.nsmt.org or by calling the Box Office at 978-232-7200It's too bad that handsome leading man Charles Shaughnessy can't sing, because if he could he'd be absolutely perfect in North Shore Music Theatre's rollicking production of La Cage Aux Folles. Dashing, charming, funny, and in total command, Shaughnessy is genuinely touching as Georges, the owner and emcee of the most famous drag club in St. Tropez, and partner to Albin (Jonathan Hammond), the flamboyant star also known as Zaza.
Shaughnessy exudes a tender sincerity as the more grounded of the two gay men in this dated but still delightful Harvey Fierstein-Jerry Herman classic. Georges must often appease Albin's artistic temperament and cajole him whenever he's being particularly obstinate, and these diplomatic skills are tested mightily when Georges' son, Jean-Michel (Zach Trimmer), arrives with his fiancée, Anne (Stephanie Martignetti), and her anti-gay parents (Larry Cahn and Maureen Brennan) in tow. Fearing that Albin's mannerisms are too "obvious" for the ultra-conservative Dindons, Jean-Michel wants Albin to move out of his and Georges' apartment until the guests are gone.
In an effort to soften the blow of Jean-Michel's rejection, Georges reminisces with Albin about their younger days, singing the beautiful "Song on the Sand." Arguably one of the most romantic ballads Jerry Herman has ever written, unfortunately here it loses its sweet/sad lyricism. Shaughnessy's inability to hit the notes shatters its melancholy mood and lilting melody. The same is true for the equally lovely "Look Over There" which Georges sings to Jean-Michel to help him understand just how deep Albin's "motherly" love for him has been.