At Marriott Theatre, 'La Cage aux Folles' is a wonderful love story
★ ★ ★ ★
Marriott Theatre’s "La Cage aux Folles" has it all: fabulous costumes, extraordinary dance talent and choreography, the wonderful voice of David Hess as Georges and Gene Weygandt’s perfect interpretation of partner Albin’s personality and the show’s message.
Directed by Joe Leonardo, Harvey Fierstein’s book and Jerry Herman’s music and lyrics get the glam treatment with Nancy Missimi’s La Cage aux Folles’ Les Cagelles dancers’ costumes and pulls off a stunning, dramatic pride statement with Weygandt’s “I Am What I Am” number that closes Act I.
There’s a wonderful rendition of “The Best of Times” number at the Chez Jacqueline Restaurant that has the audience clapping before the surprise (to those who have never seen the show) ending at the La Cage aux Folles Nightclub with the comedic comeuppance of a pretentious politician in “Finale.”
Except for those folks who object to gay marriages, today’s audiences might wonder what all the fuss is about when a son raised by his father and partner wants to marry the daughter of the leader of a politically, far-right group. Right.
The show is based on a play by Jean Poiret that goes back more than 40 years to 1973. Mike Nichols' “The Birdcage” movie came out in 1996 with Nathan Lane, Robin Williams and Gene Hackman when "coming out of the closet" was major and rarely mentioned, much less gay marriage. Indeed, "open the closet" is a line in the show.
It can also be seen as a love story which makes it perfect for Valentine's Day and February, the love month.