The latest Broadway revival of the riotous musical comedy “La Cage aux Folles” opened April 18 at the Longacre Theatre.
The musical comedy stars five-time Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer as the title nightclub’s manager Georges. Olivier winner Douglas Hodge makes his Broadway debut as Georges’ longtime partner Albin, who transforms into the flamboyant Zaza for La Cage’s drag revues.
When the 20-year-old Jean-Michel (A. J. Shively) announces his engagement to Anne Dindon (Elena Shaddow), the daughter of a right-wing politician, his concerned parents Georges and Albin try to keep up appearances as a more conventional man-and-wife pair. When the future in-laws meet, more than one identity is revealed to comedic affect. Fred Applegate takes on the role of the conservative M. Dindon, and Veanne Cox plays the repressed Mme. Dindon.
The cast is supplemented by six “showgirls,” Les Cagelles, who not only perform on stage but also act as hostesses before the show. According to Playbill, Grammer will switch to the role of Albin six months into the production’s open-ended run.
This revival is directed by Terry Johnson with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein. Based on the play “La Cage aux Folles” by Jean Poiret, this is the critically acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory production, fresh from a nearly two-year stint in London’s West End. “La Cage” was originally produced on Broadway in 1983 and later revived for a 2004-2005 run.
Previews began April 6 at the 1,050-seat Longacre Theatre, which saw an average capacity of 85 percent. Regular ticket prices for the production range from $36.50 to $132.50, with premium tickets priced at $251.50. Gross ticket sales were $472,826 for the week ending April 11, according to numbers from the Broadway League.
Evening performances are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. Matinees run Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Beginning June 14, Sunday performances will switch from the current evening timing to a 3 p.m. matinee.
The Longacre Theatre is located at 220 W. 48th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue. “La Cage aux Folles” runs 2 hours and 40 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “La Cage aux Folles”
|Variety||Steve Suskin||“It’s funny, heartwarming and terrific.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“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.”|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“We see the grief, and grit, behind the glitter.”|
|Entertainment Weekly||Thom Geier||“By the end of this well-paced production, it’s hard not to concur with the refrain of Albin’s second-act number: The best of times is now.”|
|TheaterMania||David Finkle||“Under Johnson’s sassy direction, the entire cast gives the show its all.”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“The human-scale production focuses on the laughs and deeper emotions instead of trying to wow you with extravagance.”|