EXCLUSIVE: 2010 Tony Nominee Kelsey Grammer Revises La Cage Plans

News   EXCLUSIVE: 2010 Tony Nominee Kelsey Grammer Revises La Cage Plans
Stage and screen star Kelsey Grammer, who received a 2010 Tony nomination for his performance as Georges in La Cage aux Folles at the Longacre Theatre, has amended his plans to switch roles in the Tony-nominated revival.

La Cage aux Folles star Kelsey Grammer
La Cage aux Folles star Kelsey Grammer Photo by Matt Crockett

Prior to the opening of the production, the Emmy-winning actor told the New York Post, "So the way we're doing this is, when we open I'm doing the role of Georges. In six months, I switch over to playing Albin [the role played by fellow Tony nominee Douglas Hodge]. It really means I must memorize the whole show."

Following his recent Tony nomination, Playbill.com asked the singing actor whether that plan was still in action. Grammer stated, "Well, we're trying to figure out what would be the wisest way to do it. Honestly, my preference at this point is to play out [my current contract] . . . with Doug in the role of Albin and myself as Georges. And then maybe, six months down the road after that, after we both leave the show, I could come and try Albin for, like, three months . . . once they start doing replacement casts. You hope that the show will have extended life, and it would be really fun to be able to do something like that. But I think that's the more appropriate way to do it, because honestly, I can't see myself doing the show and rehearsing the [other role] at the same time. I just don't think that's going to be possible."

About his Tony nomination, the award-winning "Frasier" and "Cheers" star said, "Well, I was certainly thrilled. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to make it on the Great White Way, you know? It's pretty great, so I was excited. . . . I started out singing when I was a kid, right? And that's what made me think I could at least have the nerve to try to be in a musical. It just had to be the right kind of music and the right kind of show, but I've always had it in my back pocket, to pull out that dream and give it a shot."

Grammer, who said the realization of that dream has been "a presumptive joy," has great respect for the character he plays. "This is a man who loves deeply and who would do anything to try to avoid hurting either of the people he loves in this play, his son and his significant other. And they have a terrific relationship. . . . [It's] the kind of relationship we all dream of. It's full of all kinds of tempestuousness and silliness, but there is such a deep, deep affection, and I think that's the key to Georges. He is stuck in such a difficult place for a man that cares as deeply as he does, and that's what I think maybe has elevated his presence in this production, and I love that about him."

La Cage aux Folles features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play by Jean Poiret. This "freshly reconceived production," which received 11 Tony nominations, is choreographed by Lynne Page and directed by Terry Johnson. Visit www.lacage.com.

Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge
Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge
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