I've been pretty preoccupied with the RTC recently - I have a few walk-ons in this show and helped build the sets. I'm finding it a lot more fun that battling ed deform. That so many school teachers are involved in the theater generally and in this production makes this an added treat. One of the leads in La Cage is a union president and on the central labor council with Mulgrew. An Assist Princ is one of the dancers as are 3 teachers. The passion and commitment over the past 3 months of all these people, some of whom travel up to 2 hours to get to the theater, has been amazing.
The audience laughs, it cries and whoops it up in cheers and standing ovations. The large cast and crew of the RTC at Fort Tilden's theatre completed the 6th performance of La Cage Aux Folles last night to rave reviews. Some people have come back 3 times or more. They just can't seem to get enough of the show. Every night after the show the cast doesn't seem to want to leave each other, despite some very long trips home. There has been as much bonding on this show as I've ever seen.
Regulars at all our shows have said this may be the best one yet.
Aside from a great show the social message is delivered with both force and subtlety. Who would have thought even 5 years ago that gay marriage would be legal?
Still 4 performances to go with a matinee today at 2PM - with proceeds going to the North Shore Animal League which will be there with an adoption van from noon to 6PM.
And performances next Fri, Sat nite at 8 and Sunday at 2. Mostly sold out but if interested email and I'll check.
All photos below by Rob Mintzes
La Cage’ Kills
|The great Chazmond Peacock|
Producer Susan Jasper writes in the production notes “This is a story about family.” Quoting the play’s book writer, Harvey Fierstein, “What child at some point has not been ashamed to introduce parents to friends? What parent has not wondered ‘Where did we go wrong?’ What marriage has not been tested in these familial flames?” OK, so this family may be a bit unusual but in today’s world not all that unusual.
When the RTC decided to do La Cage…some felt the material might be too edgy for the usual RTC audience which are generally older. Susan Jasper touched on this new direction for the RTC. “For the past 18 years the RTC has made its reputation bringing you the best in family theatrical entertainment… We recently decided it was time to branch out and include some edgier material.”
Based on the reactions of the first three performances last weekend there was nothing to worry about as there were standing ovations and sing-alongs at the end with Les Cagelles getting some of the biggest hands at curtain call, especially when they took off their wigs. As part of the crew and at times part of the on-stage ensemble, I have gotten to see various snatches of the play from different vantage points and also to gauge some of the audience reactions. I found that for some of the audience there was possibly some discomfort in the early part of the play in Act I until Chaz sings his heart out at the end of the act and totally captures the audience who root for Albin the rest of the way and cheer when the family is made whole again at the end. Chaz’ winning over the audience is the key to making them believe in this family and without a superb actor like Chaz who can sing like the star he is the show might sink instead of soaring.
There are a lot more people to mention regarding one of the best productions ever at the RTC. See you next week with more.