Sideshow Georges

Wednesday, Michael Riedel reported that Kelsey Grammer will play Georges in the upcoming revival of La Cage Aux Folles. For those unfamiliar with the musical, Georges is the owner of the seedy nightclub in Saint-Tropez that his partner, Albin, performs at as Zaza.

Before anyone starts being cynical about his casting, I would like to point out that Kelsey Grammer has done some musical theater–although not on Broadway. And if you clicked on the link to the article from the New York Post, you probably would’ve read the examples Riedel cited.

Also, if you watch The Simpsons and have seen the episodes “Cape Feare” or “The Italian Bob”, in which Grammer provides the voice of Sideshow Bob, you might’ve seen him sing, which he does do a pretty good job at.

I also noticed in Riedel’s column that he mentions how unglamorous the set is. He had mentioned in a column a couple of months ago that the set for this production from London isn’t very glamorous. If you listen to the number “La Cage Aux Folles,” the lyrics describing the nightclub of the the same name say, “We import the drinks that you buy/So your Perrier is Canada Dry,” “Avoid the hustlers, and the mens room and the food/for you get glamour and romance and indigestion at La Cage Aux Folles,” “You’ll be so dazzled by the ambiance you’re in/you’ll never notice that there’s water in the gin.” Those lyrics don’t seem to suggest a glamorous place to me, unless it’s like Elzar’s Fine Cuisine in Futurama. (I’m sorry; I’m using a glut of Matt Groening series references today.) And the performance from the 2005 Tony Awards does not seem like something you’d find at a place where you’d get indigestion.

(I have other problems, with this performance, such as performance being mostly the dancers doing the cancan interlude in the number and there not being more of the number being performed, because it’s a very amusing number. Also, it’s Jerry Herman. Let his lyrics be heard.)

Anyway, I’m still curious to see how this revival turns out. Especially since it was just revived.

3 thoughts on “Sideshow Georges

  1. I saw this revival twice – once the day after Daniel Davis’ firing and the second time at the closing performance (where every seat was sold for 1983 prices, and for the chance to see Robert Goulet). The “La Cage” number is much longer than it is on the cast album – I think it was 15 minutes in the revival including the song and a lot of dancing (the Cagelles and their mid-song can-can not only stopped the show but walked away with the reviews).

    It’s a bit too soon for a revival, but I’m curious to see how it goes. Grammer can sing it and seems like he’d be a good choice.

  2. I didn’t know that the song was longer than it is on the original Broadway cast recording. I missed the 2004 revival, but I heard so-so things about it. (I also remember Ben Brantley’s lukewarm review of the revival.) And the choreography is terrific for the Cagelles can-can, I just wish that there had been more of the sung portion of the song. (But that goes into the argument about the Tony Awards needing to allow musicals more time to perform and maybe being commercial free or with limited commercials…)

    And it does seem a bit early for a revival, but I’m curious to see how the production is and if it seems new. (Again, I didn’t see the revival, but it’s a very safe musical with gay protagonists in this day and age.) But I would actually try to make it out to New York to see it because I do like the score and it is a score I grew up listening to. And I think that Grammer might be very good in the role.

  3. Sad there was no cast recording of the 2004 revival — with Goulet. You’d think it would have been a no-brainer.

    Kelsey Grammer I’m sure will be fine. However, let’s hope he’s more prepared than he was for “Sweeney Todd” when he did it at Reprise in LA a decade or so ago. Apparently, he needed TelePrompTers placed all over the stage to get through it. And, interesting tidbit, LuPone was offered the chance to play Lovett for the first time then, but turned it down. Christine Baranski signed on, and it was a career boost for her.

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