By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
30 Nov 2009
As previously reported, London's critically acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory production of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's hit musical La Cage aux Folles will open April 18, 2010, at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway.
Grammer will play the role of Georges, the owner/emcee of the St. Tropez nightclub. In a statement, Grammer said, "I had a wonderful experience playing Henry Higgins in the New York Philharmonic's My Fair Lady in 2007, which made me long to perform in a musical on Broadway. Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's wonderfully funny and touching show is about being true to yourself and the challenges you face as a parent, as a spouse and as a family. I cannot wait to work with Douglas Hodge and to sing these magnificent songs every night."
Previews begin April 6, 2010. Hodge will re-create his London turn as Albin, whose nightclub persona is the fabulous Zaza. This reconceived production of the 1983 musical comedy based on the play of the same name opened to rave reviews and won the 2009 Olivier Awards for Best Musical Revival and Best Actor in a Musical, for Hodge.
La Cage, the tale of drag club owners Albin and Georges, and their son, Jean-Michel, who is to be married to a girl from a conservative family, has music and lyrics by Herman and book by Fierstein, based on the play by Jean Poiret. The production is choreographed by Lynne Page and directed by Terry Johnson.
Hodge is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
The original Broadway production played the Palace Theatre, where it ran 1,761 performances. The show won six Tony Awards in 1984, including Best Musical, Best Score (Jerry Herman) and Best Book (Harvey Fierstein). It was revived on Broadway as recently as 2004-05, when it won Tonys for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Choreography.
The new staging's producers previously said that their production is unique enough that they think a Broadway life is warranted so soon after the recent showing. The new Broadway production's producers are Sonia Friedman, David Babani for the Menier Chocolate Factory, Fran and Barry Weissler and Robert Bartner/Norman Tulchin.
The Menier Chocolate Factory production of La Cage aux Folles played from Nov. 23, 2007, to March 8, 2008, earning raves and moving to the West End's Playhouse Theatre on Oct. 30, 2008, where it is still running.
Hodge will make his Broadway debut, in bugle beads and marabou. His theatre credits also include Guys and Dolls, Titus Andronicus, Dumb Show (Olivier nomination). His film work includes "Vanity Fair," "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" and the upcoming "The Descent 2."
Director Johnson is a multi-award winning playwright and director and is literary associate at the Royal Court Theatre. He has been honored with nine major British Theatre awards, including two Olivier Awards and two Evening Standard Theatre Awards. In recent years, he has had ten productions running in London's West End: Rain Man, Whipping It Up, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Hitchcock Blonde, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, The Graduate, Dead Funny, Hysteria, Elton John’s Glasses and The Memory of Water. He has worked with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, directing John Malkovich in The Libertine (nominated for five Jeff Awards, including Best Production) and Lost Land, both plays by Stephen Jeffries.
Choreographer Page's credits include: Never So Good (National Theatre), A Little Night Music and Little Shop of Horrors (Menier Chocolate Factory and West End), Bad Girls the Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Assassins (Crucible, Sheffield), There Came a Gypsy Riding and The Late Henry Moss (Almeida), Fabulation (Tricycle Theatre), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (RSC), Bat Boy - the Musical (West End), and more.
The production features set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Matthew Wright and lighting design by Nick Richings. Orchestrations are by Jason Carr. Wig and makeup design is by Richard Mawbey.
Kelsey Grammer played Dr. Frasier Crane on three different TV series: "Frasier," "Cheers" and "Wings." For that role he won four Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes and a SAG Award. Grammer has been seen on Broadway in Othello and Macbeth; his other theatrical credits include Richard II, Measure for Measure and Sweeney Todd.