This week saw the arrival of the first ever UK tour of Bill Kenwright’s spectacularly stunning and hilariously funny new production of La Cage Aux Folles in Birmingham starring West End and Eastenders’ star John Partirdge as Zsa Zsa and Broadway favourite Adrian Zmed as Georges.
To celebrate the show’s visit to the city and in countdown to this year’s Birmingham Pride, representatives from Birmingham’s Gay Village descended on the city’s premiere theatre in full finery for a an evening of glitz, high glamour, heart-felt storytelling and five-star spectacle.
Among the special guests present at last night’s glamorous VIP night reception were Birmingham drag icons Pam Catz, Miss Penny, Amy La Queefa and Trixie who were on hand to welcome members of the local press with an impromptu rendition of the iconic La Cage Aux Folles anthem, ‘I Am What I Am’ pre-show.
The event also featured representatives from local night spots The Eden Bar, The Loft Lounge, The Village Inn, Glamorous, The Core, Eden Bar, The Wellington, Rhapsody Bar, Sidewalk, Amusement 13 Club, Blank Club Night and Missing as well as Midlands Zone magazine, Birmingham Pride and Birmingham LGBT.
Written by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman, and based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, La Cage Aux Folles follows the story of Georges, the manager of a Saint Tropez nightclub, and his partner, Albin, a drag artiste and the club’s star attraction. They live an idyllic existence in the south of France but behind the curtains of this sparkling extravaganza, all may be about to change when Georges’ son Jean-Michel announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician determined to close down the local colourful night-life.
Drama and hilarity ensue when a meeting of the parents forces them to cover up their vibrant lifestyle. Will Albin be able to play the role of his life to ensure that Jean-Michel can marry his love?
La Cage Aux Folles is a multi-award winning musical. The original Broadway production became an instant smash hit when it opened in 1983. It received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The success of the musical spawned a London Palladium production and several international runs. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and the 2008 London revival garnered the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
Setting out on its first ever UK tour, this brand new production is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed by Martin Connor, choreographed by Olivier Award Winning Bill Deamer, designed by Gary McCann, Sound by Dan Samson (the team responsible for the sumptuous current hit, The Sound of Music), and musical direction by Mark Crossland. This lavishly funny tale of unconditional love and family values, will leave you feeling the need to celebrate that life’s not worth a damn ‘till you can say I am what I am.’
This show-stopping score includes The Best of Times, Song on the Sand and the iconic I Am What I Am, which has been recorded by musical legends Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett.
La Cage Aux Folles runs until Sat 20 May at Birmingham Hippodrome. For tickets, call 0844 338 5000 or visit birminghamhippodrome.com