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Kelsey Grammer's going Broadway in La Cage Aux Folles

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 30th 2009 7:02PM
kelsey_grammer_headWell, what do you do when your last two TV series flamed out, leaving you scratching your head and wondering why the public isn't getting you like they did before? If you're Kelsey Grammer, you head to Broadway. With the ABC sitcom Hank firmly in his rear-view mirror, Grammer will star on Broadway in a revival of La Cage aux Folles.

Could Kelsey be taking advice from David Hyde Pierce, his brother Niles on Frasier? Since that series ended, David's had two hit shows on the Gay White Way, Spamalot and Curtains. The latter resulted in David winning a Tony award.

I'd like to think that Grammer's taking somebody's sage advice. La Cage is a no-brainer.

It was a hit when it opened on Broadway in 1983 with George Hearn and Gene Barry as a gay couple running a drag club whose lives are turned around when the son of the straighter partner (the Gene Barry role) decides to marry the daughter of a conservative politician.

If that sounds a lot like the Robin Williams-Nathan Lane movie The Birdcage it's because it's the same story. The movie was the stage musical without the Jerry Herman score and the Harvey Fierstein book. And even that was based on the original French film called La Cage aux Folles (which means Birds of a Feather). And that was based on a French play!

Just to be clear, Kelsey's playing Georges in the Broadway musical version of the piece. He'll be singing "The Best of Times" and "Look Over There" and "Song on the Sands." However, he will not sing the biggest hit from the show, the gay-anthem "I Am What I Am." That's sung by Albin, who's alter ego is the drag queen Zaza.

It would have been smart of Kelsey to take the more flamboyant role, but maybe it was more of a stretch than he was willing to take. Or perhaps the producers are happier with Douglas Hodge, the British actor, who's been starring in the show in London and who's coming to New York to play opposite Kelsey. Whatever... The new La Cage will open at the Longacre Theater in New York on April 18, 2010.

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Kelsey Grammer is a great actor and don't forget he's part of The Medium. He'll be good in La Cage Aux Folles, I love that show and play. I first saw the dubbed French version and it's a scream. I love it when the girls parents have to dress up to sneak out! And Hey, Frasier was a great, award winning show with a wonderful cast, I miss it!

December 08 2009 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What's the over/under on how long the show will run?

I'd love to see him bomb. Two decades of Frasier Crane was more than enough.

November 30 2009 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim's comment
Snap Bang

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone, that is, except you. When I'm running things, because of your negativity, you'll have to keep you yap shut.

December 09 2009 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marcus Gorman

I hope this just isn't merely a vanity project, because LA CAGE was revived on Broadway only five years ago, where it did fairy well. The musical is not nearly as good as that short time between revivals would indicate (it's no GYPSY), so this is a major surprise. This would have to be a major rethinking of the show, or else nobody will give a crap.

Unless, of course, this is Arthur Laurents continuing his I'm-nearing-the-end-of-my-life slew of reviving his old shows (GYPSY, WEST SIDE STORY), in which case it'd be a fascinating bit of theatre. (I'd recommend reading his book "Mainly On Directing" for his take on the much-maligned show.)

November 30 2009 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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