By Dee Jae Cox
La cage aux folles literally means “the cage of mad women”, though folles is also a slang term for effeminate homosexuals.
Palm Canyon Theatre’s production of the Tony Award winning, “LA Cage Aux Folles, book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, is the story of two gay men who run a drag club and who raise a son who grows up to become engaged to a woman who has extremely conservative parents and so the son asks his two fathers to deny all that they are in order to appease his bigoted, future in-laws.
Kam Sisco as Albin, gives a moving performance as the ‘mother’ who is denied her parental rights and asked to disappear in order to appease the image that his son wants to portray of a ‘straight’ family.
Sisco’s rendition of “I Am What I Am” had me close to tears. A talented actor who brought a depth of emotion to the role that kept me engaged.
Jacob (Ron Coronado) is adorable, funny and with perfect comedic timing,
steals every scene he’s in. I loved the “Les Cagelles”, the chorus of queens was the through-line for the show; they were talented, graceful and gave a real Broadway touch of class.
If there is one thing that any theatre goer can count on when seeing a show at The Palm Canyon Theatre, is that you are going to get a Broadway quality set and production experience. Whether you like the play or you don’t, Palm Canyon Theatre knows how to put on a top quality show.
And with La Cage Aux Folles, they did not disappoint. Bruce Weber’s Scenic design is absolutely stunning. I was mesmerized by how seamless the set shifted from one scene to the next. With zero effort and one hundred percent quality, I was in love with the set. Weber’s costumes were the icing on the cake.
Steve Fisher’s direction and Daryl J. Roth’s Choreography worked in unison to create a flawless and fluid staging of this classic musical.
While the music for La Cage Aux Folles is not as big and brilliant as many other well known musicals, there are a couple of songs that will leave you smiling or teary-eyed. My favorite was “Song on the Sand.” Performed beautifully by George (Timm McBride) in a loving and reminiscent ode to the day he and Albin fell in love.
The Palm Canyon Theatre Produces quality theatre. What they don’t do is produce works written by women playwrights. When announcing their upcoming 19th Season, out of five offerings, not even the usual low American Theatre standard of 20%, was written by a woman.
La Cage Aux Folle is a show that is directed more towards an adult audience. It is quality show that will definitely remind you what good theatre is all about.
“La Cage Aux Folle”, is being performed through May 24th, at the Palm Canyon Theatre, located at 538 North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.
For Reservations: Box Office: 760.323.5123 – www.palmcanyontheatre.org
Dee Jae Cox, is a playwright, director and producer. She is the Cofounder and Artistic Director for The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project and the host of KPTR 1450’s hit radio show, “California Woman 411” in Palm Springs.