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La Cage is HOT!

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WickedBoy2
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La Cage is HOT!#1
Posted: 11/28/07 at 9:45pm
The second preview of La Cage went ahead yet again with the understudy for Douglas Hodge going on in the part of Albin. The understudy, Spencer Stafford is a revelation. His ability to be able to chat away with the audience only enhances the feel that your in a real life St.Tropez nigthclub and not the Palladium. His 'A Little More Mascare' is perfect and his voice just shows the experience of shows he's done in town in the past! The show is still a little raw round the edges after being delayed with half the company suffering from colds etc but in its early state it looks great. Doug Hodge is due back in mid Dec but if you want to see somethinfg special, go see Spencer Stafford do his take on the part after just 4 or 5 days in rehearsal. A new hit for the Menier! I think so!
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 11/28/07 at 09:45 PM
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Paulyd
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re: La Cage is HOT!#2
Posted: 11/29/07 at 2:18am
I really think i need to go and see this.
Updated On: 11/29/07 at 02:18 AM
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alterego
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re: La Cage is HOT!#2
Posted: 11/29/07 at 6:57am
What size band do they have for this?
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re: La Cage is HOT!#3
Posted: 12/1/07 at 4:10am
Wickedboy2 please tell us more about the production. I wont get down until January and I can't imagine how they will manage to stage the musical numbers. I love the show and have only ever seen the Broadway revival and a poor video of the Original Broadway show. Thanks
"Your eyes..... they shine like the pants on my blue serge suit"
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Weez
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re: La Cage is HOT!#4
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:45pm
I third the request for more details. I'm seeing it January 12th, so wouldn't mind more of a taste of what to look forward to. ^_^
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re: La Cage is HOT!#5
Posted: 12/2/07 at 6:11pm
Im having lunch with my cast member 2mrw so will report back late afternoon
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: La Cage is HOT!#6
Posted: 12/4/07 at 4:03pm
I saw the production on Friday and it was an extremely fun evening. I have been a huge fan of the original 1983 Broadway soundtrack for about 15 years but had never seen the show and I looked forward to seeing what the actors were referring to in some of the lyrics, for instance the song 'Look Over There' had always perplexed me - Look at what? It turned out that it was Albin that Georges and his son were looking at (obvious really, duh!).

This was my first trip to the Menier so I don't know what the stage normally looks like but they have built a brickwork set surrounding the stage about ten feet deep or more, built into the set are doors for the cast to enter and exit the stage from left and right (in true French Farce style). The five-member orchestra is split into two and sits overhead on top of the set! Due to the tiny orchestra the music is more high school musical than West End show but they do a satisfactory job with a few early cues, in a different league compared to the Broadway soundtrack though. This is to be expected in such a small theatre. Some of the instruments such as the accordion are replicated by synthesiser.

There is a fairly large cast for such a small theatre; the biggest surprise was Una Stubbs taking a minor role as well as the wife of the Minister, this unbilled appearance caused a stir in the audience. Both leads are very good, however Spencer Stafford is too young to play Albin (it does help that he is balding though), I would estimate that he is in his late 30s whereas the character needs to be in his early 50s, especially as he helped bring up George's son who is now 24. He looks about 20 years younger than his lover Georges, which is too much for these two characters. However, Simon does an excellent job nevertheless and didn't seem to forget a line, unlike Philip Quast who forgot a couple of the lyrics but recovered quickly, this was a preview after all.

The set changes from the stage of the nightclub, to Albin's dressing room to the cafe, to the apartment and back and forth. The Cagelles dancing troupe are excellent although barely audible when singing 'We Are We Are' - belt it out darlings, please! As the audience is so close nothing is left to the imagination when they dance, that certainly raised a titter or two.

Surprisingly the musical appears to set in the 1970s, with costumes very mid to late 70s. I kind of expected it to be mid eighties when the musical was first shown or the present day rather than the period of the 1973 play or 1978 film. This was a nice touch and logical I suppose, the homophobia shown by the Minister would no longer be tolerated and would appear ludicrous in modern day France. The front stalls of the Menier are transformed to look like a cabaret with a row of cabaret tables at the very front where some lucky members of the audience nabbed some excellent seats and sat with their bottles of wine, although this rather hindered the view of the stage from the front stalls proper.

There is an element of audience participation where audience members are coaxed/dragged onto the stage for the very last number to dance with the cast for the finale so sit at the back in the middle if you are shy. I think pretty much all of the people sitting at the cabaret tables ended up on stage so beware if you are not keen on that kind of thing, if you are shy but want to sit at the front make sure you drink a bottle of wine or two during the show so your inhibitions leave you!

The evening was very well received with a great deal of laughter and applause with the show having the feel of a cabaret more than theatre. I highly recommend seeing La Cage Aux Folles and if it transfers to the West End I will definitely see it again as I would love to hear it with a larger orchestra and an older Albin.

There is a 20-minute interval and the whole show lasts about two and a half hours. I give this preview 4/5 and it can only get better.
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re: La Cage is HOT!#7
Posted: 12/8/07 at 10:32am
sittinpretty

i agree about the band, the sound was very small and on the night i was there they were a little off their game as well.

I loved the show but its not perfect

I didnt really like the look of the cage boys, they looked to rough, un glamorous but i did think the choreography were good

I saw an understudy on as Alban (Spencer Stafford i think it was) and he was good but you could tell he was an understudy from the word go

Like i say i really enjoyed it but it could use some spit and polish and a bit of fairy dust
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re: La Cage is HOT!#8
Posted: 12/23/07 at 5:33am
I am really hoping for more reviews on this. Anyone please? What are the costumes like and do they manage the bigger production numbers like LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (dance et al)?
"Your eyes..... they shine like the pants on my blue serge suit"
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re: La Cage is HOT!#9
Posted: 12/23/07 at 5:42am
Are there any images available? I'd love to see what they have done.
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re: La Cage is HOT!#10
Posted: 12/30/07 at 2:02pm
In the last 2 weeks Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw and Victoria Wood have been into the show and have left just raving about the show. Alan Rickman in particular was crazy for the show and performances commenting they were some of the best in the West End this year. Victoria Wood has done lots of work with the MD. Things are certainly hotting up for a transfer and i will post news asap
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: La Cage is HOT!#11
Posted: 1/2/08 at 7:11am
saw it just before Christmas, it was great. GOOD SINGING, DANCING AND ACTING. Loved the set, did wonder how they would cope with this in such a small theatre. In fact I think it allows the show to flow well.
I understand that originally the end incorporateD PART OF THE AUDIENCE, BUT IT NOW DOES NOT. HOPEFIULLY THIS MIGHT COME WHEN DOUGLAS HODGE IS BACK IN FULL SWING.

If you want a good night 's entertainment and fun, then book soon, seats are going well, with many shows already full. It is not a lavish set piece show, but a great ensemble with a great cast and director.

My only concern was the orchestra, split into three parts around the top of the auditorium, when they started I was a bit whoophs!!! they are going to spoil this for me, but by the interval I realised that I was no longer noticing them. Either they inproved or the show is so great my attention was completly diverted. That is hard for me and my ear!! I can assure you. Go while tickets are still around, but leave some for me to go again.
Updated On: 1/2/08 at 07:11 AM
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re: La Cage is HOT!#12
Posted: 1/2/08 at 8:00am
The audience interaction at the end wasnt cut because Douglas Hodge was out of the show. It simply didnt work and each audience reacted differently to it. Nice idea with the audience being less than 2ft away but It simply didnt work!
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 1/2/08 at 08:00 AM