BWW Preview: 34 Years Later and LA CAGE's Message is as Relevant as Ever at Carrollwood Players Theater
It's the classic tale of boy meets girl... with a twist.
Like the start of all good tales, boy and girl fall in love. In this version, boy brings girl and girl's conservative political family to meet boy's dad, owner of a drag club and other dad, the club headliner, who surprises his family by dressing in drag and pretending to be a straight woman for the duration of the visit. What could possibly go wrong?
The hilarious and beloved gender-bending musical LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, featuring the bawdy humor of Harvey Fierstein and the melodies of Jerry Herman, is in the final month of rehearsals before taking to stage at Carrollwood Players on March 17 through April 8.
The six-time Tony Award-winning musical is based on the 1973 French play by Jean Poiret and a successful 1978 film version had a Broadway revival in 2004 and 2010, winning the Best Musical Revival Tony Awards both times. The musical also inspired the popular 1996 film THE BIRD CAGE starring Nathan Lane and the late Robin Williams.
"CWP's La Cage Aux Folles is naughty, funny, and unforgettable. We couldn't be more excited about this talented cast and artistic team," said producers Jen Martin and Jim Russell.
Set against the glamorous backdrop of a St. Tropez drag nightclub, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES focuses on loving partners Georges and Albin. After 20 years of unmarried bliss, the couple has their world turned upside down when Georges son Jean-Michel (fathered during a one-night stand) announces his impending marriage to the daughter of a bigoted, right wing political couple who are involved in a movement to close drag clubs. Craziness ensues when Georges and Albin agree to disguise their lifestyle and play it straight for the future in-laws - events that cause heartache and hilarity.
Director R. James Faurote said, "There may not be a more appropriate time for a show such as La Cage Aux Folles to be brought to the stage. This immensely talented family of actors delivers the beautiful message of acceptance and love in such a magnificent way that everyone in the theater will leave the show not wanting to be anything less than the amazing individual that they are."
Featuring Tom Bronson as George, Michael Silvestri as Albin, Felipe A. Olivero as Jean-Michel, Marc S. Sanders as Jacob, Hillary Lusignan as Anne Dindon, Rick Prada as Monsieur Dindon, Val Sanford as Madame Dindon, Belle Austin, Christopher Daniels, Topher Warren as Les Cagelles, and Daniel Allmond, Adriane Falcon, David Fraga, Alicia Jiracek, Ann Lehman as The La Cage aux Folles ensemble, be prepared for laughter and tears... and incredible music.
Choreographer Jarrett W. Koski said, "It is a joy and a thrill to be working on one of my 'choreographer bucket list' shows, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. We have a wonderful cast that brings life to every movement in each musical number. Already my favorite moment in the show is in the song "La Cage Aux Folles" when the Cagelles are around the glorious Zaza (Alban) singing and performing their kick-line combination. The number is filled with such energy I am excited for audiences to see. I have to say that Alban is my favorite character because I Identify with her on so many levels and her Act 1 powerhouse song "I Am What I Am" is one of my top 5 favorite musical theatre songs ever, because it is so raw, deep and personal.
I am beyond ecstatic to be collaborating with such talents as music director Rob Nicolson and director James Faurote. I expect that audiences may be tapping their feet through each number and won't be able to help jumping out of their seats and dancing with us! This one will live in my heart for a long time and I hope the same for audiences as this show kick-ball changes the theme of "We Are What We Are!"
No matter how farcical the tale, beneath the makeup, wigs, and gorgeous costumes, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES is a story of family, but not just the one you are born into, but the people who love and support you to become a family. Perfectly packaged in glitter and feathers, appealing to all ages, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES' message is simple: Be who you are. Especially now.
Carrollwood Players is located at 4333 Gunn Hwy. LA CAGE AUX FOLLES runs from March 17 through April 8 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm. Tickets are $27, or $24 for students, seniors, and military. Advance tickets can be purchased https://carrollwood-players-theatre.ticketleap.com/la-cage-aux-folles-musical/with no service fee. For group reservations for parties of 10 or more, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.carrollwoodplayers.org.