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La Cage aux Folles

Alex Schleibs

NATIONAL THEATRE: Based on the play by Jean Poiret, this musical by Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein is uplifting, moving and thoroughly entertaining.
La Cage aux Folles
The lights dim, and on strolls the enigmatic and boisterous Georges to welcome you all to sit back, relax and be titillated by the best show in St. Tropez – La Cage aux Folles. What follows is the fabulous yet touching story of an extraordinary family and the lengths they will go for love.

The story focuses on Georges, played by seasoned performer John O’May, and his long time lover Albin, who at night transforms into the infamous star of La Cage aux Folles, ZaZa (the highly regarded David Rogers-Smith). The trouble begins when Georges’ son (the result of a one night stand) Jean- Michel returns from a short trip abroad and announces he is now engaged to the love of his life, the beautiful Anne, who also happens to be the daughter of a homophobic, right wing politician. But the news gets better: Jean- Michel has invited Anne’s family to spend the night with his “very normal” parents, so now they have les than 24 hours to completely make over their lives if they are to have any hope of impressing Anne’s parents and securing Kean-Michel’s future happiness.

Based on the 1973 play of the same name by Jean Poiret, this Quirky Productions production is anything but amateur. The acting is faultless, with stand out supporting performances from side splittingly funny Jacob the maid/ butler, played by newcomer Nicholas Kong. The Melbourne Theatre Orchestra, under the guidance of musical director Kirk Skinner, supports the superb quality of acting. As with all good musicals, the highlights are without a doubt the extravagant dance numbers by the sultry La Cagelles, choreographed by the show’s producers Tamara Finch and James Rooney. But what would a drag show be without all the fabulous frocks? Fortunately costume designer Isaac Lummis does not disappoint, with the cast of La Cage aux Folles seriously fabulous in every scene, decked out in fuchsia, feathers and an unbelievable amount of glitter.

La Cage aux Folles is the touching story of what family really means, and how important it is to stay true to yourself. The production is uplifting, moving and above all thoroughly entertaining; I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Quirky Productions presents
La Cage aux Folles
Music & Lyrics by Jerry Herman
Book by Harvey Fierstein
Based on the play ‘La Cage aux folles’ by Jean Poiret
Director: Sean Kingma
Music Director: Kirk Skinner
Choreographers: Tamara Finch & James Rooney
Costume Designer: Isaac Lummis
Wig & Make Up Stylist: David Wisken
Cast includes John O’May, David Rogers-Smith, Francesca Arena, Nicholas Kong, Peter Nicholls, Gabrielle O'Brien, Reece Budin, Melanie Ott, Tim Minturn, Josh Stent, Erin Newington, Piera Calabro, Joel Anderson, Joel Bow, Ed Deganos, Josh Duke, Jayden Hicks, Jeremy Hinman, Robert Mulholland and Gerwin Widjaja
Music by the Melbourne Theatre Orchestra

National Theatre, St Kilda
March 15 – 24

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Alex Schleibs is a reviewer for Arts Hub.

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