Reviewed by Cynthia Ning
The glittering State Theatre is hosting the much-anticipated return of La Cage aux Folles with a star-studded cast.
We were greeted by the poised Georges (Michael Cormick) who uses humour and charm to remind us to keep our phones silent during the performance. The set design and props are kept minimal and simple to build each scene and allow the audience members to fill in the rest of the details with their imagination. The multiple curtains acted as a rich tapestry, a veil and backdrop that the characters would comically interact with. The band effortlessly enhanced the performance and was a treat to watch. This added to the over-the-top glamour, much to our delight.
Like a true seasoned performer and admired star, Albin (Paul Capsis) is simply captivating and unapologetically true to themselves both on and off stage. This contrasted with their love-struck son Jean-Michel (Noah Mullins) trying to hide his family’s free and vibrant lifestyle while being engaged to the whimsical Anne (Chloe Malek). All to appease her conservative and hard-to-please parents, Marie Dindon (Zoe Ventoura) and Eduardo Dindon (Peter Phelps).
The story showcased the nuances of a modern family and the complicated relationship between a parent and their child, from the absent biological mother Sybil to the doting adoptive parent, Albin. There were heartbreaking experiences from Jean-Michel growing up defending Albin against bullies who didn’t understand them. This was followed by the heartfelt musical number dedicated to someone loving you more than you know. Hitting home for many other parents and me out in the crowd.
The Show Queens were mesmerising with their dance numbers, impressive drop splits and quick costume changes with eye-catching colourful gowns that matched their fearless and explosive energy. Jacqueline (Lucia Mastrantone) was alluring and sassy, and Jacob (Anthony Brandon Wong) came in hot and was utterly hilarious as the butler/maid who knows every secret and believed in their own star power. Honourable mentions Colette (Rachel Cole) and Tabarro (James Lee) for their short but sweet appearances as supporting cast members. Every actor engaged fully with their character personas and gave a memorable performance. As Konstantin Stanislavski famously quoted, ‘There are no small roles, only small actors’.
The show closes off on a high note with the iconic song, ‘I Am What I Am’ with the powerful message of love conquering all obstacles.
A delightfully dazzling cabaret show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
From Paris with love, do not miss this Broadway Tony Award-winning musical.