La Cage aux Folles
Any production that features leggy boys in abbreviated knickers should positively fly by. And with La Cage’s story—a nightclub owner on the French Riviera and his cross-dressing main attraction–slash–life partner try to accommodate a visit from their son’s überconservative potential in-laws—there’s no reason an ungripping minute should pass.
But while BoHo’s production of La Cage aux Folles is pared down—the orchestra’s a quartet and both the set and theater are modest in size—the song-and-dance numbers haven’t been trimmed to fit, turning what could have been a light-stepping charmer into a bloated, slow-moving showboat.
Genovese should have edited his vision for a smaller scale. Seeing a line of men in skirts do the splits is pleasantly shocking the first time, still fun the second time, and tedious as hell the following three or four go-rounds. If big production numbers aren’t working with a skeleton crew, they ought to be pruned ruthlessly.
The smaller setting could’ve been leveraged to the production’s advantage. La Cage doesn’t just showcase dancing boys; it also has a compelling story to tell, which could come through clear as a bell in such an intimate space. And at times, it does. In their one-on-one scenes, the chemistry of the two leads—Bishop as the high-strung, emotional Albin and Kingston as his warm, stable partner, Georges—brings the production back to life. Their connection feels almost palpable enough to make us stop checking our watch. As a play, the production succeeds; as a musical, it holds a sour note a few beats too long.