By Maddy Dowler
Following its highly successful run in Peoria at Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT), La Cage aux Folles will move to Herberger Theater Center (HTC) in downtown Phoenix March 6 through March 22, 2020.* ABT has been a resident company at HTC since 2018 having partnered with HTC on productions such as A Christmas Carol, Beauty and The Beast, Mary Poppins, Sweeney Todd, An American in Paris and, most recently, the hilarious Addams Family in June 2019.
The precursor to the well-known 1996 film The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, Jerry Herman’s 6-time Tony Award-winning La Cage aux Folles tells the story of Jean-Michel and Anne who are newly engaged, and her strait-laced parents want to meet his. The only problem? His birth-mother is out of the picture, his dad owns a drag nightclub, and his mom is the star of the show! Jean-Michel wants just one night with his parents playing it “straight” to impress Anne’s parents. What’s a drag queen to do? Audiences will devour Herman’s well-known power ballads, rowdy show tunes, and dreamy duets.
With the run at HTC, ABT will continue its teen-youth anti-bullying community IMPACT PROJECT entitled, “I Am What I Am.” “While the central theme of La Cage focuses on issues of inclusion and acceptance related to the LGBTQ+ community,” says Brad York, ABT Director of Marketing & Development, “our intent with this impact project is to broaden the focus of inclusion and acceptance among all people.”
ABT has several community outreach elements aligned with the “I am what I am!” IMPACT PROJECT, including PSA type videos that focus on the impact of bullying among teen-youth, the emotional and physical impact of bullying, as well as resource information for those seeking help. Also, the cast of La Cage will visit One n Ten in downtown Phoenix whose mission is to serve LGBTQ+ youth and young adults ages 11-24. Learn more about One n Ten at https://onenten.org/.
Finally, in the spirit of inclusion and acceptance, ABT and HTC will host an interpreted performance for the Arizona Deaf community on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 2 pm at HTC. Tickets for this special performance can be purchased at HerbergerTheater.org.
Upcoming ABT productions at HTC include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which will run on the Mainstage in Peoria June 5 – July 3 and then transfer to HTC July 10 – 26, 2020. Partial funding is provided by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture through appropriations from the Phoenix City Council.
*Presented in partnership with Herberger Theater Center. Show transfers to Herberger Theater Center at 222 E. Monroe St, Phoenix, AZ, following the run at Arizona Broadway Theatre, located at 7701 W Paradise Ln., Peoria, AZ.