On October 18th, I was danced into a world of unending wit, glitter, and transvestites at the State Theatre. La Cage aux Folles literally translates to The Cage to Crazy. In this rambunctious tale, the audience is chauffeured through the ups and downs of marriage. When a gay couple’s son, Jean-Michel played by Billy Harrigan Tighe, returns home to the pleasure district of France where he is welcomed with hugs and brings words of heterosexuality. The stage is set. The clock is ticking. Jean-Michel’s gay parents are to meet his love’s conservative moralistic political figure parents. La Cage aux Folles held my laughter like a comedian hungry for an open mic at senate meeting.
Albin, the ever dramatic queen of drag, played by Minnesota’s own Christopher Sieber, compliments the solemn and charming Georges (George Hamilton). For a time, I felt Georges was a little under the energy bar that was being served from the rest of the cast. However, during the number Song on the Sand, I was almost brought to tears by their love. The hidden star, Jacob (Jeigh Madjus), shone through the trials of love before him with sassy remarks, silly dances, and outrageous costumes. The dancing was marvelous and sharp. Each movement by the Cagelles, the dancers at La Cage aux Folles, were intimidating and glamorous. The dancing, singing, and band were blended together and baked into the perfect cake topped with a gallon of sprinkles and served to the audience on a crystal platter.
The lighting showed mastery in technique. During the song “I Am What I Am”, the spotlights increase at the same rate as Albin’s emotion leaving the viewers in awe. Unfortunately, there were a few late mics. Well made and flawless, the costumes added an extra shimmer of spunk to the show. When Albin came on stage in a leopard print mini-dress with a tassel hanging from each breast that were spinning around, I was falling out of my seat in laughter. The Cagelles’ costumes were a little to bawdy for my taste, but they furthered the slapstick and tension when the politician parents arrived.
Before the show, a lady strutted onto the stage in heels so high she was reaching a new atmosphere and a bubble gum pink dress draped in an enormous white boa. She joked with the audience, “Oh please, Helen Keller would know you are gay!” The audience was very responsive making the evening memorable.
Despite a few microphone problems and a lack of energy from Hamilton; the flowing numbers, and eternal wit are something to see time and time again. To anyone who wants a night of quality entertainment, strap on your highest heels, sprinkle on some glitter and hurry down to the State Theatre before it is too late. Flamboyant, fabulous, La Cage aux Folles!