I was cast as Chantal in LaCage aux Folles at Naples Dinner Theatre in the Fall 1990. Her talent was singing in falsetto. During intermission, I took off makeup and became a member of the Ensemble. For the finale, we had a QUICK change back into Drag. It was a nightly struggle! Thankfully, I had 2 girls to help me.
Principal – Chantal
On Stage Pictures
All these images were taken in 1990 (before cellphones) so the quality is not the best. I cut them up and put into a 3 ring binder. They are so old, I couldn’t remove them from the binder because they would start to tear. Sorry for the poor quality. Click on below images for larger version.
Below is the trailer for the original 1978 movie in French. There are versions with English subtitles and/or dubbed.
The Birdcage was a popular movie version in 1998 starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. It was loosely based on the stage production.
La Cage aux Folles is a musical with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein.
Based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, it tells the story of a gay couple, Georges, the manager of a Saint-Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment, and Albin, his romantic partner and star attraction, and the farcical adventures that ensue when Georges’s son, Jean-Michel, brings home his fiancée‘s ultra-conservative parents to meet them. La cage aux folles literally means “the cage of mad women”. However, folles is also a slang term for effeminate homosexuals (queens).
Opening on Broadway in 1983, La Cage broke barriers for gay representation by becoming one of the first hit Broadway musicals centered on a homosexual relationship. The show’s Act One finale, “I Am What I Am“, received praise as a “gay anthem,” and has been widely recorded.
The original production ran for more than four years (1,761 performances), and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.
The success of the musical spawned a West End 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. The 2010 Broadway revival was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. La Cage aux Folles is the first musical which has won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical twice and it has won a Best Musical Tony Award (Best Musical or Best Revival of a Musical) for each of its Broadway productions. The show has garnered five nominations for Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical from its three Broadway productions, twice for portrayers of Georges and three times for portrayers of Albin, winning the award twice (both for actors playing Albin).
Thank you to Jim Fargo and Julian Fisk for giving me a year contract at the Naples Dinner Theatre. Thank you to the Cast and Crew. I look forward to working with you all again SOON!