La Cage aux Folles


Book by Harvey Fierstein

Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman

Based on the play by Jean Poiret


La Cage aux Folles

Is presented

by special arrangement with

Samuel French, Inc.

235 Park Avenue South, Fifth Floor

New York, NY 10003


  • Show Details

    La Cage aux Folles


    An old-fashioned musical with very modern characters!


    La Cage aux Folles is a musical with book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman, based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret. It tells the story of Georges and Albin, a gay couple who must pretend to be straight (with Albin in drag) when they meet the very conservative parents of their son's fiancée.


    "La Cage aux Folles" is the name of a drag nightclub where Georges is emcee and Albin is the star performer. The scenes in the nightclub provide the opportunity for big, entertaining musical numbers featuring Les Cagelles, the glamorous (drag) chorus line. The humor in the story, in classic farce style, revolves around the secret that must be kept, and the increasingly complicated web of misunderstanding that ensues. Though the story may be more appealing to teens and adults than children, there is no strong language or explicit sexual material.



    La Cage aux Folles... Who’s Crazy Here, Anyway?


    “La cage aux folles” literally means “the cage of madwomen,” but “folles” is also a slang term for effeminate homosexuals.  It’s a catchy phrase in French, but not so much in English, which is probably why the 1996 American movie version of this story (starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane) is titled The Bird Cage.


    La Cage aux Folles began its life in 1973 in Paris as a hugely popular stage play by Jean Poirot, a “meet the parents” farce where one set of parents happened to be gay.  It was made into a French-Italian film in 1978, and was so popular it had two sequels.  Meanwhile, American producer Allan Carr, fresh from his successful film adaptation of Grease, was eager to work in live theater, saw the film version of La Cage aux Folles, and thought it would be a great Broadway vehicle.  Since Carr was not able to secure the rights to the film script, the Broadway musical is based on the original 1973 stage play.


    The original director, Arthur Laurents (Gypsy, West Side Story), was reputedly not interested in the project until he learned that Harvey Fierstein had agreed to write the book and Jerry Herman (Hello Dolly, Mame) the music and lyrics.  Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy was one of the early gay-content Broadway shows, and had established him as a credible voice for gay characters.  Laurents was himself openly gay and fiercely left-wing in his politics.  On this project, Jerry Herman actually played the role of moderating influence with his more outspoken fellow artists.  In his memoir, Showtune, Herman describes how the team decided to create “a charming, colorful, great-looking musical comedy - an old-fashioned piece of entertainment.” By “delivering their sentiments in a sweetly entertaining manner,” the team was able to convey their message with more impact than they could have with a more aggressive approach.


    And what, exactly, is that message?  When La Cage aux Folles opened on Broadway in 1983, the AIDS epidemic was on the rise, and there was a lot of ignorance and homophobia surrounding the disease, so it could have had something to do with acceptance within that specific context.  But in the end, the message is larger than just the specific historical context, and applies to all of us and what could be called real family values — being true to ourselves, accepting each other as we are, being loyal to our families, being kind to others.  And that message must resonate. La Cage aux Folles won six Tony awards for the original 1983 production (including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book), and has had two Broadway revivals; it’s the only show that has ever won the Tony Award for Best Revival of Musical twice and that has won a Best Production award for all three of its Broadway productions.  We are very happy to be closing our 50th season with such a happy show, an old-fashioned musical with some modern ideas.  We hope you enjoy it!


    Press release

  • Is La Cage aux Folles a family show?

    Is La Cage aux Folles a good show for kids?  It’s a question we’ve been hearing a lot.  The short answer is “yes, we think it’s a great show for families to see together.”  But each family is different, and parents, you should make that decision based on your own kids’ ages and understanding, and your own comfort level.  Most kids will enjoy the slapstick humor and showy musical numbers (though the plot may be too convoluted for preschoolers to follow.)


    La Cage aux Folles is a “meet the parents” farce where one set of parents happens to be gay, and the other set of parents happens to be homophobic.  (You may remember the 1996 Robin Williams film, The Bird Cage, which tells the same story.)  The humor in the play revolves around the secret that must be kept, and the increasingly complicated web of misunderstanding arising from that.  (Think I Love Lucy.)  And in the end, everyone comes together with increased understanding and tolerance.


    In the very clever script, there is a fair amount of sexual innuendo, though nothing very shocking by television standards.  Some of the scenes in the play take place in a gay nightclub that features drag entertainment, and some of the characters in the play are lovable drag queens.  And the leading men in the show have a long-term, committed relationship, and they kiss each other onstage.


    Here’s what the New York Times had to say about the Broadway production:  “Though the show celebrates the marriage of one over-the-top drag queen and her enduringly loyal guy, La Cage now registers more than ever as feel-good family entertainment… an extravagant, old-fashioned musical containing likable characters, a sentimental love story, sumptuous sets and costumes — and songs that can be hummed on the way home.”


    And the New York Daily News said: “It’s a family show, and if the family happens to be gay, that’s of no moment.  If Rodgers and Hammerstein were in full swing today, they’d have grabbed it, for it makes THE KING AND I seem rather daring by comparison.”


    We hope this helps you decide whether to make La Cage aux Folles “family night out” or “date night.”  And if you do decide to bring the kids, don’t forget about our KIDS COME FREE program for children and teens up to 16.  Check out ticket deals on our website.

  • Media




    Below are dress rehearsal photos taken August 31, 2016.  Click on any photo to retrieve a higher res version, and email the publicist if you'd like an even higher res version for print.  These photos may be used for any editorial purposes, and for social media posting. Photos by Kathy Kahn.

    *member of Actors' Equity Association

    Below are publicity photos taken in summer 2016.  Click on any photo to retrieve a higher res version, and email the publicist if you'd like an even higher res version for print.  These photos may be used for editorial purposes, and for social media posting. Photos by Kathy Kahn.

    *member of Actors' Equity Association

    La Cage aux Folles invitation video:

    "We Are What We Are" from La Cage aux Folles:

    "A Little More Mascara" from La Cage aux Folles:

    East Bay Times and other Bay Area Newsgroup newspapers:

    "Oakland hills: 'La Cage Aux Folles' brings humor, heart at Woodminster" by Janet Levaux




    "For a musical that revels in the gleeful decadence of a drag revue, La Cage aux Folles is at its core a heartwarming love story ... (more)

    -- Sam Hurwitt, Mercury News/East Bay Times


    “With humor and heart, this La Cage is a glorious romp that allows the audience to laugh, cry a little and take away a deeper message of acceptance … the sparkling cast provides polished entertainment, and the heartfelt storyline is a classic.” (more)

    -- Vince Media,

  • Who's Who

    Directed by Joel Schlader

    Music Direction by Michael Horsley
    Choral Direction by Carl Danielsen

    Choreography by Jody Jaron


    Georges … Chris Vettel*


    Jacob … Nick Nakashima*


    Albin … Clark Sterling*


    Jean-Michel … Eric Carlson


    Anne … Harmony Livingston


    Jacqueline … Jacqueline DeMuro


    Senator Dindon … Greg Carlson*


    Mme. Dindon … Anna Joham


    Angelique ... Larry Hawelu
    Bitelle ... Charlie Fields
    Chantal ... Travis Brown
    Mona ... Sean McGrory
    Mercedes ... Rod Voltaire Edora*
    Phaedra ... José Antonio*

    Francis ... Todd Schlader*
    Babette ... Natalile Fong
    Colette ... Meg Jaron
    Monique ... Oscar Tsukayama


    Etienne ... Oscar Tsukayama


    Tabarro ... Randy Burke


    M. Renaud ... Dan Kapler


    Mme. Renaud ... Ginnie Menezes


    Ensemble:  Christine Burke, David Flack, éilîs Muller, Joanne Romeo, Sebastian Romeo

  • Buy Tickets

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    La Cage aux Folles tickets online

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    If you choose the online option and don't see the tickets you want, or there don't seem to be tickets available, please call us directly at 510-531-9597 or just show up on a performance night.  Our online sales are handled by outside agencies who have specific blocks of tickets, and are not able to sell last-minute tickets.  We perform in a very large amphitheater and always have seats available.

Woodminster Summer Musicals produced in cooperation with the City of Oakland Parks & Recreation Department.

50th Anniversary logo designed by Joanne Romeo.

© 2016 Producers Associates Inc.