The new revival of the musical La Cage Aux Folles opens tonight at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. This production has already enjoyed critical acclaim at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London, and now comes to Broadway with Kelsey Grammer (TV’s Frasier and Cheers) in the role of nightclub owner Georges. Olivier Award winner Douglas Hodge reprises his role of Albin, Georges’ partner, who is also a featured drag performer at his club. Based on a French play and featuring a book by Harvey Fierstein and a score by Jerry Herman (“I Am What I Am” is the show’s signature song), La Cage Aux Folles originally appeared on Broadway in 1983 and had a fairly recent Broadway revival just a few years ago. For this current production, star Grammer will switch to the part of Albin in six months from now.
It turns out that Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Cheers), who is now returning to Broadway in the role of Georges in the musical La Cage Aux Folles, will actually be playing both leads in the show. Six months into the musical’s run, Grammer will be switching to the role of Albin. These types of switcheroos in Broadway shows are rare, but hardly unheard of. Currently actor Jeff Daniels, starring in the Tony-winning Broadway play God of Carnage, is playing the part previously assayed by James Gandolfini when the show first opened. And several years ago, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly regularly swapped parts in the play True West.
Seeing as how there was a (not all that impressive) revival of La Cage aux Folles on Broadway just a few years ago, there hasn’t been a great deal of excitement about the incoming production, scheduled to hit Broadway this Spring. But a recent casting announcement has just made this La Cage a bit more intriguing. Kelsey Grammer, the TV star best known for his character on Cheers and Frasier, will star in the new La Cage aux Folles revival in the role of Georges, the owner of a St. Tropez drag club whose son is about to marry into a very conservative family. The role of his longtime lover Albin will be played by Douglas Hodge, who has received much acclaim for his turn in the London production of the show.