Saturday, October 8, 2011

Review: (Quebec City) La Cage aux Folles

Benoît Brière (l) and Alain Zouvi (photo credit: Michel Pilon)

Boas and glitter
This Cage has big second act problems
by Isabelle-Ann Charlebois

The first half is pure delight. Thirteen actors, fly on and off the stage, each one in a flamboyant wardrobe. Boas and glitter are flying everywhere and of course the drag queens are catty and mannered to the fullest. It is a riot.

This version is directed by Normand Chouinard whose casting is perfect. I can’t think of anyone else for the role of Albin (Zaza) than Benoît Brière. His hysterical ups - though sometimes a bit harsh and scorching - and downs give the play a wonderful color. Brière shares the stage with Alain Zouvi who plays his partner Georges; they own a night club “La Cage aux Folles”. Their maid, Jacob (Éric Paulhus), is white in this adaptation! It is a bit less exotic than the black maid we normally see. Nevertheless, he has almost no self-control and plays cock-tease to the fullest which is marvellous.

Into this household Laurent (Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi) comes to announce to his father Georges that he’s going to get married and that the in-laws’ are coming for a stay at their apartment…upstairs from the Club. As the in-laws (Normand D'Amour, Louise Bombardier) are ultra-conservative, Georges wants to change the OTT style of the apartment and tries desperately to show Zaza how to act like a real man; even how to eat a cracker. From then on, the play crumbles along with that cracker.

It is just a big mess of discussions and silliness...

Act can leave at intermission.

The rest of the play, takes place at the dinner table. It is just a big mess of discussions and silliness: chaos - about as enjoyable as The Last Supper. It is long and painful to watch; too many people, discomfort, confusion, insinuations, innuendos. Brière becomes ludicrous and irritating with his high pitch screams and hollers.

Smiles return briefly at the finale when everyone in the story is trying to get out of the club anonymously, taking part in the Cage's show. The cast is singing and dancing. Normand D'Amour is wearing a black, square-cut wig, dressed in flashy women’s clothes and becomes the one thing worth waking up for.

1 comment:

  1. A comment has been deleted because moderators believed it to be spam.


Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.