La Cage Aux Folles

Music & Lyrics: Jerry Herman

Book: Harvey Fierstein

Based on a French film by Jean Poiret, La Cage Aux Folles tells the story of Albin and Georges, two middle-aged homosexual lovers who run a transvestite nightclub in St. Tropez. The plot revolves primarily around the complications that develop when their son announces that he is getting married--to a woman! And not only a woman, but the daughter of a local morals crusader!

Although La Cage was Broadway's first homosexual musical, it was nevertheless a mainstream production. Director Arthur Laurents didn't allow his lead characters so much as a peck on the cheek for fear that he might offend his audience. Still, La Cage proved wildly successful with critics and audiences alike and opened the door for other musicals such as Falsettos and Rent which would further explore the homosexual landscape.

The original production--which featured George Hearn and Gene Barry--opened at the Palace Theatre on August 21, 1983. The show was destined to become the biggest new American musical of the decade. The original run included 1,761 performances and spawned numerous touring companies. "I Am What I Am" was recorded by Gloria Gaynor and proved to be one of her biggest hits.

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