Closing Up Shop: La Cage Run Ends June 26

By Kenneth Jones
June 26, 2005

La Cage aux Folles, the 2005 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival and Best Choreography, ends its run at the Marquis Theatre June 26.

Despite the Tony wins and the show's exposure on the Tony broadcast June 5, its producers told the company on June 7 that they would shut the production down. Ticket sales were brisk enough.

The Jerry Zaks-directed revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's 1983 musical comedy will have played 30 previews and 229 regular performances. Jerry Mitchell won the choreography Tony for his work, creating frenzied can-cans, a touch of soft-show, and an elaborate "birdcage" title number that pulled performers into the air on wires.

"I am so proud of this wonderful production," said producer James L. Nederlander in a June 7 statement. "Unfortunately, despite winning the Tony Award on Sunday, our sales have not increased. We've decided to set the closing date for June 26th to give theatregoers a window of opportunity to see this beautiful show."

The closing of the gay-and-family-themed show coincides with Gay Pride Weekend ceremonies in Manhattan.

La Cage stars Gary Beach as Albin and Robert Goulet as Georges, who, producers have said, expressed an interest in touring the show. No plan has been announced. The role of Georges was originated in this revival by Daniel Davis, who had a parting of ways with producers in mid-run.

Gary Beach was nominated for the Tony for Best Actor (Musical).

Producers are James L. Nederlander, Clear Channel Entertainment, Kenneth Greenblatt, Terry Allen Kramer and Martin Richards.

The production did not yield a cast album, which would have reflected minor changes to the score. For example, composer-lyricist Herman added a patter counterpoint for Georges during son Jean-Michel's number, "With Anne on My Arm."

The opening night company included Linda Balgord as Mme. Dindon; Gavin Creel as Jean-Michel; Angela Gaylor as Anne; Michael Mulheren as Edouard Dindon; John Shuman as Francis; Michael Benjamin Washington as Jacob; Ruth Williamson as Jacqueline; and Adrian Bailey, Paul Canaan, Joey Dudding, Merwin Foard, Christopher Freeman, Patty Goble, Dale Hensley, John Hillner, Leah Horowitz, Clark Johnsen, Paul McGill, Brad Musgrove, Eric Otte, Nathan Peck, Andy Pellick, T. Oliver Reid, Jermaine R. Rembert, Dorothy Stanley, Eric Stretch, Charlie Sutton, Will Taylor, Josh Walden, Emma Zaks and Bryan Batt.