Menier La Cage Begins Performances at West End's Playhouse Theatre Oct. 20

News   Menier La Cage Begins Performances at West End's Playhouse Theatre Oct. 20 The Menier Chocolate Factory production of Jerry Herman's 1983 musical La Cage aux Folles begins performances Oct. 20 at the West End's Playhouse Theatre. Opening night is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Douglas Hodge reprises his performance as Albin that he first gave when this production opened at the Menier in January. He is newly joined by Denis Lawson as Georges (replacing Philip Quast), Tracie Bennett as Jacqueline (replacing Tara Hugo) and Paula Wilcox as Mme. Renaud and Mme. Dindon (replacing Una Stubbs).

The cast also features Zoe Ann Bown, Ben Bunce, Darren Carnall, Nicholas Cunningham, Alicia Davies, Ben Deery, Adrian Der Gregorian, Nolan Frederick, Leanne Harwood, Matt Krzan, Robert Maskell, Iain Mitchell, Gary Murphy, Stuart Neal, Jason Pennycooke, Dane Quixall, Duncan Smith and Scott Speadbury.

The revival is directed by Terry Johnson, with choreography by Lynne Page, sets by Tim Shortall, costumes by Matthew Wright, wigs and make-up by Richard Mawbey, musical supervision and orchestrations by Jason Carr and musical direction by Nigel Lilley. It originally opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory Jan. 9, 2008, following previews from Nov. 2.

The production has been reconceived for the Playhouse, with audience members aged 18 and over able to purchase cabaret seating at the front of the stalls and, according to press materials, "experience La Cage aux Folles from within."

Hodge's recent credits theatre include Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls opposite Ewan McGregor (Piccadilly), the title role in Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's Globe), Dumb Show (Royal Court, Olivier nomination), Pericles (National Theatre) and more than ten Pinter plays including Moonlight and The Caretaker in the West End. Film credits include "Vanity Fair," "Mansfield Park" and "Scenes of a Sexual Nature." His television credits include regular roles in "Spooks" and "Redcap." Lawson's stage credits include Oleanna (Duke of York's), Lust (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Volpone (Almeida), Pal Joey (Albery) and Mr. Cinders (Fortune), for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Film credits include The "Star Wars" Trilogy, "Providence," "Local Hero" and "The Man in the Iron Mask."

Bennett won an Olivier Award this year for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for playing Velma von Tussle in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and previously won the same award for her performance in the London revival of She Loves Me in 1995. Wilcox is best known for her roles in TV's "The Liver Birds" and "Man About the House."

The show, which features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Harvey Fierstein based on Jean Poiret's play of the same name (that later also became the inspiration for the 1996 film comedy "The Birdcage" with Robin Williams), is described as a celebration of family values. It revolves around the relationship of Georges, a nightclub owner, and his star performer and life partner Albin, who find their livelihood – and lifestyles – under threat as Georges' son from an earlier marriage announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing politician, who wants to close down the local colorful nightlife. With a visit from the prospective in-laws imminent, they all decide to take drastic action to hide their lifestyle...but can they keep it up?

The West End transfer of La Cage Aux Folles is produced by Chocolate Factory Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, David Ian Productions, Tulchin/Bartner, The Ambassador Theatre Group and Jamie Hendry.

The show's original Broadway production, directed by Arthur Laurents, opened at the Palace Theatre in August 1983, running for 1,761 performances before closing in November 1987. It won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book of a Musical. That production was imported to the London Palladium in 1986, where it ran for 301 performances. It was last revived on Broadway in a different production, directed by Jerry Zaks, in 2004.

To book tickets, contact the box office at 0870 060 6631 or visit www.lacagelondon.com.