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15 May 2010 @ 08:53 am
So, I'm only about a month late with my thoughts on this...  
...but seeing La Cage in NYC last month was probably one of the highlights of my entire trip and I really wanted to mention it here. Sadly all the life has been drained out of me the past few weeks and I only NOW have the energy to write about it - so I apologize for how late this is. :P

La Cage, in general is one show that I'll admit, before I'd seen it, I really could not have expected it to be as moving, or as wonderful as it is. The very first time I saw it staged was in 2006, when our local Diamond Head Theatre produced an amazing production (click to read my thoughts of that production at that time) of it. I went in thinking, "Yes, we all know the story... BIRDCAGE..." I came out absolutely loving the show and seeing WHY it has so many admirers.

The show, to me, is all about love and self worth, dignity, and acceptance. No matter how many times I see the show,... I tear up during Jean-Michel's apology,... usually not for his words, but for the look on Albin's face as he says them. There is something so completely wonderful about a show that allows us to see that ALL differences need to be celebrated and admired.

This particular production was INCREDIBLE, though. The cast was AMAZING. Douglas Hodge gives probably one of the greatest performances I've seen all year as Albin. As mentioned in my 2006 thoughts on the show, I really feel as though the success of any La Cage is dependent on the casting of Albin. Mr. Hodge played the role the way I like to see it... He gave Albin SUCH dignity and HEART and never once turned the comedy of the role into a caricature of a portrayal - which I think is the danger in playing this role and what sets the truly amazing performances apart from those who are only playing it for laughs. Mr. Hodge's performance was heartbreaking, hysterical, and SO incredibly moving. Start to finish, I think it was truly one of the most amazing performances of the year. LOVED it.

Kelsey Grammer was good as Georges. I didn't go in to the show a particular fan of his work, but I gained a great deal of respect for him after seeing the show. He was hysterical and endearing and though the role of Georges is usually a role that's overshadowed by Albin, I feel he did a lot with it. Robin DeJesus was SO endearing as Jacob! I loved him in In the Heights, but he really is a scene-stealer here... And the Cagelles... were just amazing, most notably Nick Adams, who constantly looked annoyed and disinterested while he was dancing - his constant snarled expression was hysterical!

I saw the show on the last preview performance before opening night and the audience was AMAZING! They were SO energized and screamed and yelled with me during the final moments of the show when the curtain came down on the last wonderful kiss. :) To be in the audience and see that incredible performance with others who obviously know and love the show, was an incredible, INCREDIBLE experience. And to think that I almost didn't buy tickets to the show, because it conflicted with one of my soap events... I'm SO glad I went!!

So glad in fact, that I even gave up tickets I'd purchased to another show to see it a second time before my trip was over. The show the second time was just as wonderful, though the audience was a bit more subdued. The laughs weren't as immediate or as loud, and the final scene just got a HUGE ovation. Still it was fun to see from different seats in the theatre AND I got to volley that beach ball they throw into the audience! ;)


Rarely do I wait at the stage door when I don't know anyone in the cast, but the show was so great,
I decided to anyway... BTW, I loved how the sign to the right of the picture says, "Club La Cage." :)


With A.J. Shivley who plays Jean-Michel. He was so sweet!! :)


Because I wasn't there specifically to see Kelsey Grammer, I didn't want to take up other people's
time by asking for a photo (I wanted all the folks who came to see him to get their chance) so the only
photo that I got was of him signing someone else's playbill. He was very nice, though and spent a great deal of time with everyone.


The person that I did want to see was Douglas Hodge - who was surprisingly chatty at the stage door!! He was talking with me about some sound problems they had that night and asked me if I noticed. Thanked me for seeing the show twice and said, "Already? We just opened!" :) He was also talking as this photo was being taken... something about how unseasonably cold the weather was. :) He was the nicest person!! BTW, I look ridiculous in the photo... :P

SOOO glad I got to see this show (TWICE!) and so glad that they were recognized with so many Tony nominations - which were truly, TRULY deserved!!
 
 
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
 
 
 
gloryday225: memphis: all i knowgloryday225 on May 15th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Douglas Hodge really was incredible. I think it's safe to say the Tony is his, haha. Not complaining. I've watched this video of him singing I Am What I Am on some show in London a disgusting number of times since I found it :P
Sheri: La Cage 02shutterbug93 on May 16th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
He really was... amazing! I saw that video on You Tube as well from the London production... LOVED it!
Sarah: [Glee] // Puck & Rachelmisswritten on May 15th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
Aahh I want to see this so bad. Ideally before the Tony's since it's the one thing with lots of noms that I haven't seen, but I don't think I'll get to it since I'm not in NY anymore. Hopefully later this summer though!

Glad you enjoyed it though and so awesome that you got to meet the leads
Sheri: La Cage 03shutterbug93 on May 16th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
Oh, I really think you should see it before Douglas Hodge leaves the cast (he has a 6 mo contract, so that puts him leaving around Sept?) His performance is truly incredible and worth going in to the city to see. :) And everyone was really nice at the stage door. SO surprised that Douglas Hodge was so talkative, though. He was really VERY sweet!
bigrivermusicalbigrivermusical on May 16th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
I agree with you wholeheartedly. Douglas played Albin perfectly, not too over the top and very genuine. I was surprised Kelsey's singing has improved significantly since I saw him in Sweeney Todd concert version, but I kept thinking that I would have LOVED to see the original cast, Philip Quast, in this role! Well he is on the way to Ozzie to play Mr. Banks so he cannot be two places at once :)
Sheri: La Cage 02shutterbug93 on May 16th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)
I think that's what I appreciated most about his performance, it wasn't over-the-top as it easily could've been. I've never seen Kelsey Grammer sing before so I was surprised that he was better than most people said he was. He was also very nice to the people who came to see him at the stage door. But yes, Philip Quast as Georges would've been lovely.
ellixianellixian on May 16th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Like I've told you already, I'm MOST MOST excited to see La Cage now, if I can make it back to New York sometime this year. So glad you had fun. And randomly, I just watched Robin Hood and saw Douglas Hodge's name in the credits. I was wondering if it was the same guy!!
Sheri: La Cage 03shutterbug93 on May 16th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
I really do hope that you're able to see it and to catch Douglas Hodge's performance... it truly is incredible! And YES, that's him in Robin Hood!