London's Menier to Revive Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles

News   London's Menier to Revive Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles London's Menier Chocolate Factory has announced a new production of La Cage aux Folles for its Christmas show this year.
Jerry Herman
Jerry Herman Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The Jerry Herman (music and lyrics)-Harvey Fierstein (book) musical will open at the tiny but big-hitting Southwark venue Dec. 3. Previews of the Tony-winning musical will begin Nov. 23.

The production will be helmed by writer/director Terry Johnson and designed by David Farley, designer of the Menier's award-winning production of Sunday in the Park with George. Casting for La Cage aux Folles has yet to be announced.

La Cage aux Folles premiered at Broadway's Palace Theatre on Aug. 21, 1983, running for 1,761 performances and winning six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The Broadway revival played the Marquis Theatre Nov. 11, 2004-June 26, 2005.

The London premiere opened at the Palladium on May 7, 1986, and ran for 301 performances. The show's anthem, "I Am What I Am," subsequently became chart hits for Gloria Gaynor and Shirley Bassey.

Herman's credits include Milk and Honey; Hello, Dolly!; Mame; Dear World; Mack and Mabel; and The Grand Tour. La Cage aux Folles garnered Herman his second Tony Award. His first was for Hello, Dolly!. Fierstein, who also won a Tony for his work on La Cage aux Folles, is the author of Torch Song Trilogy, for which he won the Best Play and Best Actor Tonys. He will return to Broadway in A Catered Affair.

The London production of La Cage marks the musical theatre debut for the prolific Johnson. His plays include Insignificance, the Olivier-winning Emmanuelle and Dick and more recently Hitchcock Blonde. His adaptation of The Graduate transferred from the West End to Broadway.

La Cage aux Folles is based on Jean Poiret's play about middle-aged lovers Albin and Georges, who run a transvestite nightclub in St. Tropez where Albin's alter ego, ZaZa, is the star attraction. The plot revolves around the complications that develop when Georges' son announces that he is getting married to the daughter of a local moral crusader and whose parents are coming to dinner to meet the future in-laws.

The Menier has a track record of staging American musicals. Jonathan Larson's tick, tick . . . BOOM! and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years both received their U.K. premieres there. And, the Chocolate Factory's Olivier-winning revival of Sunday in the Park With George arrives at Broadway's Studio 54 later this season.

For more on La Cage aux Folles, call (0)20 7907 7060.