Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review of La Cage Aux Folles by Rebecca S.

As a longtime fan of the movie The Birdcage, I was eagerly anticipating attending the live musical on which it was based. And I was pleasantly treated with a fun and energetic version of La Cage! Lively is a very fitting word for this show, from the upbeat and athletic dance numbers to the simple yet funny dialogue between the characters. The story takes place in a gay nightclub, run by the owner and his male partner, the star of the floor show. When their heterosexual son returns home to announce his engagement to the daughter of an extremely traditional politician, the antics, emotions, and songs ensue!

George Hamilton commands the stage with his quiet, yet confident, presence. While there is no denying it is the tan man himself, he plays the "straight" lead (no pun intended!) to the best of his abilities, giving us a Georges who is kind and caring. However, it is Christopher Sieber's turn as Albin that really brought the show to life. Vaguely familiar from years of television, Sieber brings the star power without lingering memories of former characters. This really allowed him to bring Albin's powerhouse alter ego, Zaza, to life. His comedic timing, singing voice, and perfect flamboyant mannerisms stole the spotlight every time he walked on stage.

Some of my favorite scenes took place at La Cage Aux Folles itself. The chorus, a group of 6 transvestite males, brought so much energy and talent to every number. Some of the most athletic dancing I have seen in a show, from full splits over and over to a can can line to hanging on a cage, I was so impressed with the abilities of this group. The rest of the supporting characters were perfectly cast as well- the "butler" was full of bubbly personality, the son brought the right amount of manly touch, and the father-in-law-to-be was gruff and protective. Additionally, the staging and directing really brought the show together, including interactive parts where the cast truly connected with the audience.

For a light hearted, enjoyable evening filled with laughter, head down to the Orpheum for this delightful version of La Cage! I think the only thing you will find that you don't like (particularly ladies) is the men have better legs, and they sure do show them off! One last warning- beware flying beach balls!

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