Show Tunes S4 EP19 - La Cage Aux Folles (1983)
Jerry Herman's 1984 Best Musical Tony Winner features big hair and big heart
There's a story that Jerry Herman had a panic attack before the Boston opening of "La Cage Aux Folles." Would audiences be able to handle a musical with gay themes? What would the critics think?
He needn't have worried - "La Cage" won a pile of Tony Awards and ran for over 1,000 performances on Broadway.
One of the keys to the show's success is that amid the sparkly flash of "La Cage" is a sweet story of family and love.
Georges and Albin are a couple who run a drag club in St. Tropez. Albin is the club's star, featured as the fabulous "ZaZa," and Georges is the manager. Albin and Georges have been together for twenty years, creating shows and raising Georges' son, Jean-Michel.
Jean-Michel falls in love with Anne, the daughter of a conservative, anti-gay politician. He wants to bring the two families together but fears the politico's reaction to Georges and, especially, Albin. This results in hurt feelings, confusion and chaos.
Spoiler alert: love wins.
Tony Awards (1984)
Best Book of a Musical (Harvey Fierstein)
Best Original Score (Jerry Herman)
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (George Hearn as Albin)
Best Direction of a Musical (Arthur Laurents)
Best Costume Design (Theoni V. Aldredge)
A Few Hidden Gems (Kate's note - the whole score is terrific!):
With Anne on My Arm and also (!) With You on My Arm
Song on the Sand
Look Over There
The Best of Times
- We Are What We Are
- A Little More Mascara
- With Anne on My Arm
- With You on My Arm
- Song on the Sand (La da da da)
- La Cage Aux Folles
- I Am What I Am
- Song on the Sand (Reprise)
- Look Over There
- Cocktail Counterpoint
- The Best of Times
- Look Over There (Reprise)
- Finale: With You on My Arm; La Cage Aux Folles; Song on the Sand; The Best of Times