Monday, April 19, 2010

La Cage Aux Folles

A revival of La Cage Aux Folles, the musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and a score by Jerry Herman, opened last night at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway.  The revival, opening less than six years after the previous revival of the same show, was praised as being better than its source material, but then ... most productions of this show are.  And if this show's history on Broadway is any indication, a Tony nomination is in high order.  In 1984 the musical won 6 Tony Awards, including book, score, and musical, beating out the predicted winner -- Stephen Sondheim's Sunday In the Park With George -- and the 2005 revival, often called soulless and boring, won the musical revival Tony over revivals of Sweet Charity and Pacific Overtures.  Whether or not the show can pull off a win in its third incarnation waits to be seen, and it looks especially difficult in a year with such strong revivals as A Little Night Music and Ragtime, but one never knows.

This production was especially praised for the leading performance of Douglas Hodge as Zaza/Albin/Mama who seems likely as anyone to be nominated for a lead actor Tony.  In somewhat of a surprise, Kelsey Grammer (of Frasier fame) was also given some good notices for his singing and acting in this part, with most reviewers acknowledging the oddity of having cast him in a musical.

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