La Cage Aux Fun

Did you ever get the feeling, say if you were out somewhere, settled at a table in a restaurant, about to order your appetizer and a relaxing cocktail or you’re nestled comfortably in your theater seat after having made that unspoken compromise with the stranger seated next to you that the arm rest if off limits to both of you, (just to keep things fair) that something wasn’t quite right, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it and the only thing that pops into your head is that you’re hoping you’re not wearing two different shoes?

We went to see “La Cage Aux Folles” on Saturday. Of course, our pre-show repast was at  a surprisingly and yet refreshingly packed Playwrights II and by about 1:30, the place emptied out except for us because everyone had gone off to their respective 2pm matinees. Ours wasn’t until 2:30 and we actually had time for coffee.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show and not really knowing Kelsey Grammer’s body of work, except for a few glimpes of a “Frasier” rerun after one of “The Golden Girls” I didn’t know what to expect from him. Well, the long and short of what I got from “La Cage” was an emotional ending to the first act, and by emotional I mean I was brought to tears and was again so twice during the second act. The song “I Am What I Am” performed by a dejected Albin, played both captivatingly and over the top at the same time by Douglas Hodge closed the first act and that song, as a rule, is so far on the bottom of my “like” list that I forgot it even existed. But seeing and hearing it performed in context, I could not help but convulse with emotion and try as I might to conceal it, by the time the lights came up, Ariel was handing over a hanky. And then in the second act with the performance of “Look Over There” first by Georges, Kelsey Grammer’s character, which he played with an quiet wit and engaging pathos to his son Jean-Michel when he arrogantly disregarded Albin, and again when Jean-Michel (A.J. Shively) reprised it when he realized the error of his ways. Just for the record, I still don’t like the song “I Am What I Am”.

What else I got from “La Cage” amid all that emotion and spontaneous outbursts of laughter was a sense of incredible chemistry between everyone in the cast that made the performance a heartfelt and genuine one  and it made for one of the more fun times I’ve had at a Broadway show in a long time. It was an engaging performance and  was pleasantly surprised; I laughed out loud and, of course, cried and at one point, being so drawn in, I was stopped dead in my tracks, stunned, as though I were a member of the cast reacting as scripted. Whether or not that was what they were going for, they got me. And what La Cage got from me was a score of 10. And that hasn’t happened since “Wicked”. So, thanks, “La Cage” for sending us off on our Broadway diet on such a high note.

Our weigh ins weren’t all that stellar this week; Ariel put on one more pound (203) but I lost 2 (212). And speaking of that, I started my 7-day eyedrop regimen yesterday to correct that viral thing I have going on with my eyelids. And, I have my regular doctor appointment later this morning, the one I had to make when I ran out of my blood pressure medication a few months back and had to see the nurse practitioner first to update my records.

There was more this weekend, but I can get into that next time.

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