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La Cage aux Folles Broadway Reviews

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Broadway Reviews

8.72
CRITICS RATING:
79.13%
READERS RATING:
95.26%
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Reviews of La Cage aux Folles on Broadway. See what all the critics had to say and see all the ratings for La Cage aux Folles including the New York Times and More...

Critics' Reviews

9

La Cage aux Folles

From: Entertainment Weekly | By: Thom Geier | Date: 04/22/2010

But the show, newly revived on Broadway under the thoughtful direction of Terry Johnson, proves to be surprisingly sturdy — despite the three-inch pumps donned by the cross-dressing Cagelles at the Saint-Tropez nightclub that Georges and Albin call home. Herman's score is studded with melodic winners, including the gay-rights anthem 'I Am What I Am,' which closes the first act on a stirring and deeply moving note. Delivering that show-stopper is Douglas Hodge, a transplant from Johnson's 2008 London revival of La Cage. Hodge is practically perfect as the fey Albin, a tricky role in which an actor could easily slip into caricature or sentimentality. Hodge manages a careful balance, delivering a performance that is both hilarious and heartfelt; his character is admittedly over the top, but he always feels real. As his partner, the La Cage manager Georges, Kelsey Grammer proves to be an equal partner in carrying the show. Grammer has a surprisingly strong singing voice (better than his rendition of the 'Frasier' theme song might suggest), and he never makes you doubt his commitment to Albin or his son; you feel the anguish as he seeks to reconcile the conflicting desires of his two loves.

9

La Cage aux Folles & Let My People Come - The Party!

From: BroadwayWorld.com | By: Michael Dale | Date: 05/05/2010

While I wouldn't exactly use the exalted theatrical term "ridiculous" to describe the newest Broadway mounting of La Cage aux Folles, it did strike me from time to time that director Terry Johnson's view of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's landmark musical tasted a bit like what the great Charles Ludlum might have done with the piece.

9

Caged Heat

From: The New Yorker | By: Hilton Als | Date: 05/03/2010

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 focusses, 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.

9

La Cage aux Folles

From: Entertainment Weekly | By: Thom Geier | Date: 04/22/2010

But the show, newly revived on Broadway under the thoughtful direction of Terry Johnson, proves to be surprisingly sturdy — despite the three-inch pumps donned by the cross-dressing Cagelles at the Saint-Tropez nightclub that Georges and Albin call home. Herman's score is studded with melodic winners, including the gay-rights anthem 'I Am What I Am,' which closes the first act on a stirring and deeply moving note. Delivering that show-stopper is Douglas Hodge, a transplant from Johnson's 2008 London revival of La Cage. Hodge is practically perfect as the fey Albin, a tricky role in which an actor could easily slip into caricature or sentimentality. Hodge manages a careful balance, delivering a performance that is both hilarious and heartfelt; his character is admittedly over the top, but he always feels real. As his partner, the La Cage manager Georges, Kelsey Grammer proves to be an equal partner in carrying the show. Grammer has a surprisingly strong singing voice (better than his rendition of the 'Frasier' theme song might suggest), and he never makes you doubt his commitment to Albin or his son; you feel the anguish as he seeks to reconcile the conflicting desires of his two loves.

9

La Cage aux Folles

From: New York Daily News | By: Joe Dziemianowicz | Date: 04/19/2010

The human-scale production focuses on the laughs and deeper emotions instead of trying to wow you with extravagance. The toe-tappy score by Herman sounds new, too, thanks to a small band and an emphasis on pathos rather than outsize presentation."The Best of Times" is a particularly sugary anthem, but it's more personal and powerful than in previous outings.

9

La Cage aux Folles

From: Entertainment Weekly | By: Thom Geier | Date: 04/22/2010

But the show, newly revived on Broadway under the thoughtful direction of Terry Johnson, proves to be surprisingly sturdy — despite the three-inch pumps donned by the cross-dressing Cagelles at the Saint-Tropez nightclub that Georges and Albin call home. Herman's score is studded with melodic winners, including the gay-rights anthem 'I Am What I Am,' which closes the first act on a stirring and deeply moving note. Delivering that show-stopper is Douglas Hodge, a transplant from Johnson's 2008 London revival of La Cage. Hodge is practically perfect as the fey Albin, a tricky role in which an actor could easily slip into caricature or sentimentality. Hodge manages a careful balance, delivering a performance that is both hilarious and heartfelt; his character is admittedly over the top, but he always feels real. As his partner, the La Cage manager Georges, Kelsey Grammer proves to be an equal partner in carrying the show. Grammer has a surprisingly strong singing voice (better than his rendition of the 'Frasier' theme song might suggest), and he never makes you doubt his commitment to Albin or his son; you feel the anguish as he seeks to reconcile the conflicting desires of his two loves.

9

La Cage aux Folles

From: Back Stage | By: David Sheward | Date: 04/18/2010

Despite scaled-down production values and a smaller cast and orchestra—a trademark of the tiny Menier Chocolate Factory, where this edition started—Johnson creates a credible and entertaining drag show presented by Georges, the owner of the titular Riviera establishment, and headlined by his lover, Albin. (Set designer Tim Shortall even extends the showroom atmosphere into the audience by replacing the first few rows of seats with cabaret tables and chairs.) You could take the onstage numbers out, plunk them down in any gay-themed nightclub, and rake in the cash. There are only six Cagelles this time out, but each is a gorgeous vision and expert dancer, performing Lynne Page’s campy choreography with abandon and pizzazz. Kudos to Matthew Wright’s dazzling costumes and Richard Mawbey’s wig and makeup design.

9

'American Idiot': It’s Not Easy Being Green Day (scroll down for La Cage aux Folles)

From: New York Observer | By: Jesse Oxfeld | Date: 04/20/2010

But what Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-winning book lacks in structure, it more than makes up for in humor and warmth. Jerry Herman’s score, also a Tony winner, contains several stirring anthems: “I Am What I Am,” “The Best of Times,” the lovely “Look Over There.” And director Terry Johnson’s production, which transforms the big Longacre into a très intime night at the titular club, is simply gorgeous, beautifully designed (by Tim Shortall), costumed (by Matthew Wright) and, especially, choreographed (by Lynne Page).

9

La Cage aux Folles

From: Time Out New York | By: Adam Feldman | Date: 04/22/2010

Terry Johnson’s superb revival is tighter and bolder. This La Cage aux Folles is no longer breaking ground; it’s planting new crops and watching them bloom. I would never have thought that we needed another revival of this musical so soon after the last one’s flames flickered out. Yet somehow this familiar show blows the roof off the Longacre Theatre, and makes a case for La Cage as a classic of American musical comedy.

9

La Cage aux Folles

From: Variety | By: Steven Suskin | Date: 04/16/2010

Here, finally, we have a realistic and believable pair who have been devotedly living with each other for a quarter century. And that makes "La Cage" more emotionally effective than before. The producers are fortunate to have imported Hodge, who won an Olivier for this role. He comes on looking and acting like Colleen Dewhurst playing farce, and proceeds to offer a performance at once grandly over-the-top (in the first act) and emotionally grabbing (in the second). The surprise of the evening comes from Kelsey Grammer as Georges. He plays the comedy and acts the host perfectly well, but in "Song on the Sand" and "Look Over There" he gets to the heart: Here is a man earnestly and enduringly in love.

9

La Cage Aux Folles

From: NY1 | By: Roma Torre | Date: 04/20/2010

Just when you think you know a show inside and out, along comes a revival that opens a new window and suddenly a gust of fresh air turns the whole experience into an unexpected joy. I’ve seen "La Cage Aux Folles" several times, but this streamlined production beautifully integrates the dramatic elements with the music and the result is as inviting as an April in Paris, or rather, San Tropez.

9

A riotous 'La Cage aux Folles' returns to B'way

From: Associated Press | By: Michael Kuchwara | Date: 04/18/2010

When "La Cage aux Folles" originally opened on Broadway in 1983, gay marriage was not on the horizon. At the time, Fierstein's book was considered groundbreaking for depicting a long-term gay relationship in all its domestic normalcy. In the nearly three decades since then, the idea of gay marriage is a reality, at least in some places. These days, Georges and Albin could be considered just another old married couple, yet their story as told in "La Cage" could not be more timely and enjoyable.

9

La Cage Aux Folles

From: The Hollywood Reporter | By: Frank Scheck | Date: 04/19/2010

The setting is seedier, more realistically evocative of the sort of decadent seaside nightclub it depicts. The Cagelles are unpolished and decidedly tough looking; glaring during their routines, they seem as likely to accost audience members as entertain them. The orchestra is smaller, and at the intimate Longacre Theatre, one is much closer to the action. The results, thankfully, are simply wonderful. Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's 1983 musical, which already has received two lavish Broadway productions, is even more touching and entertaining in this chamber-style version, imported from London's Menier Chocolate Factory (currently white-hot thanks to this and its "A Little Night Music," which also transferred).

8

'La Cage' revival a happy surprise with Grammer

From: Newsday | By: Linda Winer | Date: 04/18/2010

The corn is still as high as an elephant's feather boa in the St. Tropez transvestite cabaret owned by an aging male couple named Georges (Grammer) and Albin (Hodge). But the difference starts with director Terry Johnson's intimate but not skimpy production, which makes this a delightfully tacky club. Instead of the male chorus of Cagelles that meant to wow Broadway by their ability to look female, these guys play big-muscle thug-femmes who relish the blatant incongruities in their ballet moves and pumped-up gymnastics.

8

La Cage aux Folles

From: New York | By: Scott Brown | Date: 04/18/2010

Hodge adds something new: a touch of sputtering rage that's neither heroic nor pathetic. Too agitated to hold stage center, he jerks himself around, looking for release, but finding only an audience. And for once, the performer delivering this fight-song doesn't seem to assume his listeners share his feelings or his fight. For all the spittle and vibrato on display, Hodge's number feels strangely like a private moment. This Albin is not articulating a credo. He's simply furious.

8

Squint, and the World Is Beautiful

From: New York Times | By: Ben Brantley | Date: 04/19/2010

What makes this version work — transforming a less-than-great musical into greatly affecting entertainment — is its insistence on the saving graces of the characters’ illusions about themselves and, by extension, the illusions of the production in which they appear. As presented here “La Cage” is (you should pardon the expression) a fairy tale, a sweet, corny story that asks us to take people (the good-hearted ones, anyway) at their own valuation. Try to see it their way, the show suggests; squint hard, and life at this dump will appear, for a second, beautiful. The old-fashioned, feel-good musical (which “La Cage” defiantly is, for better or worse) has always demanded such leaps of faith from its audience. Mr. Johnson’s interpretation coaxes a parallel between the willful make-believe happening onstage and our willingness to subscribe to it. The show’s very plot, we come to realize, is the triumph of musical-theater logic over reality.

8

La Cage Aux Folles

From: nytheatre.com | By: Julie Congress | Date: 04/21/2010

Despite the potentially edgy subject matter, this is an old-school musical comedy in style. Matthew Wright's sparkling, feathered, luscious costumes, Richard Mawbey's colorful wig and makeup design, and Tim Shortall's scenic design all ensure that La Cage is as glitzy and showy as possible. Director Terry Johnson has found a few moments of subtle genuineness that are quite heartwarming: Albin's reluctance to let Georges hold his hand in public and an overdue kiss as the curtain comes down.

7

Rattling 'La Cage'

From: New York Post | By: Elisabeth Vincentelli | Date: 04/19/2010

Hodge exposes the mix of rage, fear and uncertainty underneath Zaza's sequins, but that's almost expected in this type of semi-revisionist production. Having Brits look for the dark lining in the silver cloud has become as predictable as Americans going for the flash that dominated Jerry Zaks and Jerry Mitchell's take in 2004.

7

Kelsey Grammer Is Big Draw, Drawback in Smart ‘La Cage’ Revival

From: Bloomberg News | By: Jeremy Gerard | Date: 04/19/2010

The reductions in this stripped-down version, Broadway’s latest import from London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, seem especially stark as it follows closely a 2005 revival that matched the opulent 1985 Tony-winning original sequin for sequin. Yet unlike the shrunken revivals of other big Broadway musicals, this one makes sense. Terry Johnson’s smart, tight, rough-edged and slightly tacky production gets closer to the sort of scene one might actually find in a transvestite club on the French Riviera.

6

Size Matters

From: Wall Street Journal | By: Terry Teachout | Date: 04/23/2010

By stuffing their staging into a shabby-looking set roughly comparable in size to a second-rate nightclub, Terry Johnson and Tim Shortall, the director and set designer, have clipped away the tinsel and made it possible for the audience to focus on the relationship of Georges (Kelsey Grammer, still best known for "Frasier") and Albin (Douglas Hodge). To be sure, the score is as banal and the jokes as grating as ever, but at least you can believe in what you're seeing, and Messrs. Grammer and Hodge are so engaging that the show's shortcomings recede into the distance. Mr. Grammer needs to work harder at singing in tune, but he knows how to put a song across, while Mr. Hodge's Cockneyfied Albin is so outrageous that you'll want to give him a great big hug.

6

So much revelry and grief break free from 'La Cage Aux Folles'

From: USA Today | By: Elysa Gardner | Date: 04/18/2010

Attending a performance of this La Cage, which opened Sunday at the Longacre Theatre, is a bit like spending an afternoon with an overactive but thoroughly charming child.

4

La Cage aux Folles

From: On Off Broadway | By: Matt Windman | Date: 04/18/2010

"La Cage," Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's old-fashioned musical comedy about a middle-aged gay male couple that runs a notorious drag club, is not strong enough on its own terms to survive this low-budget, slowly-paced and unevenly-acted production. I love much of the score, including the anthems "I Am What I Am" and "The Best of Times is Now," the romantic ballad "Song on the Sand," and the hauntingly poignant "Look Over There." But some of the score admittedly consists of second- or even third-rate showtunes. And much of Fierstein's book is irritatingly slow and even amateurish.

3

Promenade Glimmered Briefly; La Cage aux Folles and Million Dollar Quartet Just Glare

From: Village Voice | By: Michael Feingold | Date: 04/20/2010

I was even sorrier while sitting through the shoddy revival of La Cage aux Folles (Longacre Theatre), Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's 1983 musical, in which a drag nightclub star and his club-owner hubby battle each other but unite to confront the right-wing parents of hubby's son's fiancée. The original production made the gay couple's Côte d'Azur nightclub the goofily glamorous place Herman's lyrics salute. Terry Johnson's new production, with misplaced Anglocentric cultural memory, reduces it to a tatty, skimpy pier-end revue where drag equals stereotype plus ineptitude. The familiar gestures pall almost instantly, the songs get trampled into incoherence, and Douglas Hodge's simpering, ad-libbing cliché of a drag diva shoots down any glimpse of emotional truth. Amazingly, in the midst of this rag heap, Kelsey Grammer pulls off a genuine star turn, investing the role of Hodge's spouse with easy charm and projecting his ballads with graceful feeling. He should keep classier company artistically.


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