Entertaining ‘La Cage’ to close Sunday, Aug. 12
By Carol Davis
SAN DIEGO — In this day of ‘throw away’ there are a few treasures worth keeping. Take for example the Jerry Herman (music and lyrics) and Harvey Fierstein (book) La Cage Aux Folles based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret. The show first hit Broadway in 1983 and received nine Tony nominations and actually won six including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony for Best Revival and the 2008 the London revival got the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
Now through Aug. 12 “La Cage” the touring show starring none other than George Hamilton (yes That George Hamilton) and Christopher Sieber is giving this incarnation a fine rendering that entertains beyond expectation thanks to the extremely talented and energetic Sieber.
Georges (Hamilton) and his life partner, Albin/Zaza, (Christopher Sieber) have been together long enough to have a son old enough to marry. Georges fathered the boy but Albin has always been the ‘mother figure’ to him.
The men live above the cabaret, La Cage Aux Folles located on prime property, The French Rivera. The Folles theatre is a bit dated and still functions as a renowned hall of entertainment. It features six Cagelles dressed in drag who perform some pretty outlandish acts. Georges is master of ceremonies and Albin is the star performer, Zaza.
The story alternates between the on stage entertainment where the six drag queens perform, (some very well others ho, hum) and the serious business of whether Albin will be able to stay in the apartment when Jean-Michael (Michael Lowney) brings his fiancée’s conservative parents to meet his ‘parents’ or if, as the young lad requests, Albin be asked to move out for the night. This is at the crux of the play; the rest is window dressing but enjoyable all the same. Jerry Herman’s music is current even today.
The seventy something Hamilton still maintains his good looks with a full head of whitish/grey hair and a forever summer tan but doesn’t have much bounce left in his step and his clothes look like they are straight out of Buffalo Exchange, but who cares?
He pulls off the part of the adoring husband to the over the top and gushy husband/wife Albin as if he means it and that’s enough for most theatergoers. Other than that, she show runs on auto with the grateful audience eating up Sieber’s outstanding performance whether singing “I Am What I Am”or “A Little More Mascara” or just bustling about as the over protective mother to the ungrateful little snot nosed Jean-Michael. (He does have an epiphany after all is said and done.)
Before the show a little warm up act was taking place throughout the audience and on stage as one of the swings, Todd Lattimore aka Lilly Whiteass gave shout outs to all his/her favorite groups including Black, Jewish Lesbians, birthday boys and girls (there was someone in the audience the night I attended in her 90’s) those celebrating anniversaries, etc. It was a great entree into the world of cabaret that we were about to see. And from the audience response, a good time was had by all!
Not too much time left to see it, so hop down and enter into the glittery, wild world of La Cage!
See you at the theatre.
Dates: through Aug. 12th
Organization: Broadway San Diego
Phone: call Ticketmaster for more information
Production Type: Musical Comedy
Where: 3rd and ‘B’ Street
Ticket Prices: starting at $30.00
Web: broadwaysd.com and lacage.com
Venue: Civic Theatre downtown
Davis is a San Diego-based theatre critic. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Short URL: http://www.sdjewishworld.com/?p=30357