Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's the New Gypsy!

A mere five years following the unsuccessful revival of La Cage Aux Folles, it's been announced by Norman Conquests producer Sonia Friedman that the current hit West End revival will transfer to Broadway in March 2010. The current production originated at the Menier Chocolate Factory and is currently in the midst of a hit West End engagement with Roger Allam and Philip Quast. TV and stage star John Barrowman is to step into the role of Albin this fall.

The recent revival played the Marriott Marquis for seven months, winning the Best Musical Revival Tony as producers simultaneously posted the closing notice. The production is probably best remembered for its highly publicized firing of star Daniel Davis as Georges halfway through the run. Robert Goulet, in his final Broadway appearance, was brought into the production, but his presence did very little to improve the show's box office intake. Gary Beach was Albin, but seemed to be recreating his Roger De Bris rather than exploring that fascinating duality of the insecure, sensitive Albin with his assertive drag alter-ego Zaza.

Why is it coming back? Apparently this revival has a unique approach to the material that is unlike any other La Cage we've seen before. Friedman feels that there is enough appeal in this production to warrant a Broadway run. She is currently seeking a large playhouse or small musical house for the production and hopes to work out an arrangement with Actor's Equity for Douglas Hodge, the original Olivier-winning Albin of the production to transfer. No other casting or details are available, but Friedman did meet with the show's composer Jerry Herman the day of the Tonys to discuss details.

I'll gladly see the show if it transfers, as it's always been a crowdpleaser. However, this second revival in half a decade begs me to ask the Nederlander organization, where are the promised revivals of Hello, Dolly! and Mame that were to follow the last La Cage?

In the meanwhile: here's the Tony-winning original George Hearn delivering "A Little More Mascara." (The video quality is poor, his performance is outstanding).

1 comment:

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I'll gladly go see this again. During my tour of London last Thanksgiving, this was the only show I missed that I truly regretted not seeing.