GUTHRIE — You could catch a flight that would take you to the French Riviera, but why go to all that trouble and expense when the Pollard Theatre is offering a similar experience for a fraction of the cost. The theater's stage soon will be transformed into a St. Tropez nightclub that's frequented by “both the riffraff and the royalty.”
Tony Award-winning composer Jerry Herman went on to describe this Mediterranean hangout as “bawdy and bizarre.” It is, of course, the setting for “La Cage Aux Folles,” a 1983 musical about a gay couple (Georges and Albin) whose son (Jean-Michel) announces his plans to be married.
Unfortunately, his fiancee's father happens to be Edouard Dindon, an ultraconservative politician who heads up the “Tradition, Family and Morality Party.” Jean-Michel, Georges' son from a brief fling he had with a woman two decades earlier, wants to invite his future in-laws to dinner, a decision that is certain to be disastrous.
Hoping to convince the Dindons that his parents are a normal couple, Jean-Michel offends Albin by asking him not to attend the dinner. Albin decides instead to come in drag and masquerade as Jean-Michel's mother. Jerome Stevenson, who directs the Pollard's production of “La Cage Aux Folles,” calls the popular show “a traditional musical comedy with nontraditional leads.”
“Georges and Albin live in a society that is completely accepting of their lifestyle,” Stevenson said. “Albin has raised Jean-Michel as his own which shows how committed he is to Georges. These two men have found a way to live together, something that can often be difficult for heterosexual couples.”
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We knew this production would fall during an election year which should create a greater connection with audiences.”