New Farm community theatre group Nash Theatre is bringing the campy and big-hearted play La Cage Aux Folles to Brisbane, and Ross Waghorn – better known as Sportsman Hotel drag star Wanda D’Parke – is taking on a lead role.
In the play, St Tropez nightclub owner Georges and professional drag star Albin are thrilled that their son, Jean Michael, is getting married.
Unfortunately, the bride’s father is a ultra-conservative, anti-gay politician. Reluctantly, the couple agree to try and play it straight, with Albin using all of his skills as a performer in front of the in-laws.
“La Cage is set in this French nightclub, where there are some female performers and some male performers dressed as women,” director Leo Bradley said.
“It was originally a French comedy, so the text is quite funny and the characters’ personalities are very large. The music is lovely, the cast will be performing songs like ‘We Are What We Are’ that really give you insight into the characters’ emotional states.
“Composer Jerry Herman has written these beautiful songs that explore what love is; Jean-Michel being raised by his two gay parents; and the things that parents give up for their children.”
The original Broadway production of La Cage aux Folles, written by Harvey Fierstein, opened in 1983 and the show first reached Australia in 1985. It’s one of the most popular Broadway musicals ever with eleven Tony Awards to its name including Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical.
You may also recognise the play’s premise from the story’s 1996 Hollywood remake The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as couple Albert and Armand.
La Cage Aux Folles is at New Farm’s Nash Theatre from September 23 to October 14. For tickets and more information visit NashTheatre.com