“La Cage Aux Folles“, a play with no holds barred, brings a whole new flair to entertainment. With three Tony awards, La Cage surrounds the life of Georges, a nightclub owner, and his partner Albin who moonlights as the glamorous chanteuse Zaza. Balancing work, family and life, the duo find their lifestyle being questioned by their son when he invites his fiancée’s conservative parents to their home. The pair does what is best for the family and deals with the situation the way Georges and Albin know best – La Cage style.
A grand production, the cast is surprisingly small but the performers, including musicians, make you believe otherwise. The songs and acrobatic choreography would have you in awe. Every costume is loud, and rightfully so with glitter, feathers and a touch of frill. The stage/scenic design is impressive and very entertaining, like the feathery corset as one of the backdrops, which clearly adds more grand to the production.
The play, set in Saint-Tropez, France, opens with a strong chorus line of six, also known as the Les Cagelles. Fierce and talented, the Les Cagelles – an all-male chorus – are as poised as gymnasts and as graceful as ballerinas. Dressed in glitter, glamour and feathers, their performance is nothing less than perfection from beginning to end.
Enter Georges, played by the beloved all-American George Hamilton, and his presence is just as breath-taking as when he first appeared on the entertainment scene. At a strong age of 70, Hamilton performs as Georges beautifully. With his tanned complexion, infectious smile and trademark voice, he appears as the host of La Cage and introduces La Cage as the best nightclub in town, taking pride in the La Cagelles and the star of the show, Zaza.
Zaza, or Albin, played by Christopher Sieber, is a role that demands versatile needs–such as voice control and a humorous, but star-like, presence, which Sieber delivers flawlessly. Zaza is somewhat of a typical drama-queen with a shining sense of humour. His cantor has the audience rolling in laughs, but has his son Jean-Michel, played by Michael Lowney, embarrassed with fear. However, even with the dramatics, Zaza means well and only wants what is best for the family.
One other notable character worth mentioning is Jacob the French “maid” played by Jeigh Madjus. Mischievous and incredibly lovable, Jacob – judging by the name – is not your typical French maid. He dresses in a t-shirt and tutu and frolics in the backstage of La Cage as Zaza’s personal assistant dreaming of one day performing in La Cage. Although Jacob is the comic relief in every scene, Madjus plays the role to a t and delivers consistent laughs in every appearance.
A funny and heart-warming play, La Cage deserves more than just a standing ovation. In fact, the “message in the madness” of the story is touching. People from across the board as young as thirteen or as old as 100, with or without a religious background, lovers of the same or opposite sex or family men celebrating their birthday leave the show with their hearts filled with laughter and joy. So if you have the chance, watch the madness unfold and in it, you’ll find laughter, sacrifice and love.
WHEN: September 4 – 16, 2012
The Buell Theatre
1101 13th Street
Tuesday – Sunday: 7:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 2 p.m.
TICKETS: $35 – 105. Tickets available online.
Run Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes