One of the best things about Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles is that it is just all around fun. I was even asked if I had a feather boa to bring with me. Sadly I did not, but that made me more excited to see this production of the Tony award winning musical knowing an upbeat time was to be had. This incarnation, directed by Noel Ruiz, features a wonderful cast and is showing at CM PAC in Oakdale, Long Island, through July 29th.
Set in Paris, Georges (Gregg Sixt) owns a drag night club and his partner, Albin (Tim Conway), is the headliner. When Albin is performing, he is known as ZsaZsa. Mr. Sixt and Mr. Conway were a great team. In particular, their voices blended well together. They were well-received from the audience especially during their duets: "With You on My Arm" and the reprise of "Song on the Sand".
Georges has a son named Jean-Michel, portrayed by Steve Cottonaro, from a short lived affair many years ago. With his biological mother out of the picture for decades, Jean-Michel has been raised by Albin for the majority of his life. Jean-Michel is about to marry Anne (Kristen Digilio). Unlike Anne, her parents, The Dindon's, portrayed by John Passadino and Linda Pentz, are very conservative. Her father especially as he is leading the movement to close all the drag clubs. Hilarity ensues as they try to put up a front for the right-winged parents.
Also fantastic were "The Cagelles", the group who performs with ZsaZsa at the club. They were Alex Lavoie as Chantal, Kevin Burns as Hanna, PatrickGrossman as Phaedra, Ronnie Green as Mercedes, Jimmy Kimmel as Babette, and Alex Esquivel as Dermah. The audiences loved their performances. In particular, the big dance number of the title song "La Cage' Aux Folles" was met with roaring applause. All of these men were great despite some typical opening night flubs they took in stride.
The set was minimal, yet effective. When Georges and Albin "redecorated" their apartment for Anne's parents, they had a huge cross on the back wall, a big comfy couch with end tables, and a table/chair dining set. They also set up an industrial looking area with dark walls for when they are backstage at the club between acts. Additionally, the costumes were well put together. ZsaZsa's gowns were full of sequins and feathers and The Cagelles' head pieces were stunning.
You're in for a fun time when you see La Cage Aux Folles running through July 29th at CM PAC of Oakdale, Long Island. The talented cast will only add to the experience and have you leaving the theatre smiling. One piece of advice: remember your feather boa.
La Cage Aux Folles is presented by the CM Performing Arts Centre of Oakdale, Long Island running now through July 29th. Book by Harvey Fierstein, Lyrics and Music by Jerry Herman, Directed byNoel Ruiz, Musically Directed by Chris McKee, Choreographed by M.E. Junge, Stage managed by Brendan Noble. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631.218.2810 or visit cmpac.com.