La Cage aux Folles, a musical based on homosexuality, which debut in 1973 is still as potent today, 44 years later.
– review of the show at the Rinker Playhouse in the Kravis Center (West Palm Beach).
The title translates to “The Cage of a Mad Women,” however “Folles” is also slang for queen (homosexual).
Georges (played by Larry Alexander) is the master of ceremonies and manager of Saint-Tropes, a drag night club. He lives upstairs with his transvestite wife, Albin for 25 years. Albin (played by Michael Ursua) is the star attraction of the night club and goes by the name Zaza. Zaza’s flamboyant behavior and her exquisite costumes is truly the star of this show.
However, Georges and Albin’s relationship is not the centerpiece of this story, but instead it revolves around Georges son, Jean-Michael (played by Clay Cartland), who happens to be a byproduct of a one-night fling. Jean-Michael announces he is engaged to Anne (played by Kimmi Johnson), but this does not sit well for either family.
The drama that ensues is really magnified during Albin’s heart-wrenching song I Am What I Am. You can’t help, but feel his pain as he refuses to change for anyone. Another great number was Song on the Sand, which began as a solo by Georges and then later was joined in perfect harmony with Albin. The two were so powerful together that they made my toes curl.
The stage design although simple was effective and with the orchestra performing along the right on the stage, the feeling of the night club was definitely enhanced.
The cast of 22 actors were all from South Florida. There dancing, joking and singing along with the plethora of costume changes made it really enjoyable to watch. All the while you are trying to guess who is really a male dressed in women’s clothes. By the show’s end thankfully your guesses get answered in the final reveal as all the wigs come off.
The play runs October 6-22 at the Rinker Playhouse in the Kravis Center. Make sure to get your tickets soon and be prepared to do a lot of laughing.