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Home Up

James Van Treuren as Georges and David Edwards as Albin

Ivoryton Playhouse's production of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's  La Cage aux Folles is quite simply wonderful and unexpectedly touching.

The emphasis is much more on the leading characters of Albin and Georges. Portraying a male couple whose son is about to marry the daughter of a bigoted politician, David Edwards, as Albin, and James Van Treuren, as Georges, are superb, both singly and as a couple. Combined with a faultless cast, a sumptuous setting and a terrific onstage band playing Jerry Herman's glorious score, this La Cage aux Folles is capable of both dazzling the eye and melting the heart.

Directed with a sure hand by the skilled Lawrence Thelen, the show is extremely well-paced and smoothly staged throughout, from onstage numbers to domestic scenes in Albin and Georges' home. Of course, this wouldn't matter much without two fine actors in the central roles. In the less flashy role of Georges, James Van Treuren displays a gorgeous voice (especially in the beautiful number, "Song on the Sand") and his acting is lovely, particularly in Georges' moments with his son Jean-Michel (played by Zach Trimmer, who possesses a strong voice of his own). Georges also presides over the scenes as proprietor of the nightclub "La Cage aux Folles" and he serves as the perfect foil for Albin.

That the central family unit of Georges, Albin and Jean-Michel maintains central focus is a tribute to both the supple direction of Lawrence Thelen and the touching performances of these three actors. While La Cage aux Folles will always be known for its sequins and feather boas, in Ivoryton Playhouse's production, it is the warmth of familiar ties and real heart that takes centerstage. To quote one of Jerry Herman's songs, Ivoryton Playhouse's highly recommended La Cage aux Folles proves that, truly, "The Best of Times is Now."

Zander Opper - TalkinBroadway.com

 

The story centers on nightclub owner Georges and his diva-drag-queen partner Albin. James Van Treuren is immediately likeable and cuts a dashing figure as Georges - who must switch between his ‘master of ceremonies’ persona at the La Cage Aux Folles nightclub in St.Tropez, and then revert to the partner who uses kid-glove treatment on his wildly hysterical lover, drag diva ZaZa/Albin. Van Treuren lovingly sings “Song On The Sand” and “Look Over There” with the poignancy that Jerry Herman intended. He looks exactly as we expect a sophisticated impresario to look.

Reviewed by Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Out and Travelin’ - Examiner.com

 

The show’s strengths lie in the casting of Van Treuren as Georges and Edwards as Albin. Both give stellar performances and fit their roles to a tee. Both sing their solo numbers with great feeling, including “Song on The Sand” by Georges, reprised in Act II by both men, and “I Am What I Am” by Albin after Georges breaks it to him that he doesn’t want him at the meeting of the parents.

Amy Barry – Connecticut Critics Circle

 

 
 

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