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Actors’ Equity Night Out To ‘La Cage aux Folles’ at Herberger Theater Center

Local members of the Actors’ Equity Association will be coming together for Equity Night Out on March 8th, at 7pm to attend the Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) production of La Cage Aux Folles at the Herberger Theater Center. Actors’ Equity Association (“Equity”), is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers. Equity fosters the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.

ABT has continued their commitment to Actors’ Equity, and to hiring local artists for their Mainstage, Encore Room, and Herberger productions. They will be offering a discount code to Equity members for this performance.

La Cage aux Folles is Jerry Herman’s (Mame, Hello, Dolly!) 6-time Tony Award-winning production that tells the story of Jean-Michel and Anne who are newly engaged, and now 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 Albin to do? Based on the original 1973 French play of the same name, and later the hit motion picture The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, the ground-breaking La Cage aux Folles celebrates performers, the LGBT community, and non-traditional families. The show also features two Equity artists, Michael Ursua who plays Albin/Zaza and Seth Tucker, a local member, in the role of Jacob.

La Cage Aux Folles
March 8th | 7:00pm
Herberger Theater Center
222 E Monroe St., Phoenix

To find out more information and receive the discount code please email: actingupseries@gmail.com

An Interpreted Performance of ‘La Cage aux Folles’ Available for the Arizona Deaf Community

Beginning with Season 15, Arizona Broadway Theatre launched a new program to create community-related impact projects to accompany each production. These projects are designed to provide ABT the opportunity to expand its community engagement in meaningful, measurable and memorable ways that extend beyond the stage. Art, as they say, imitates life, and with each production come real-life show-specific themes that correlate to topics and issues of the day. With this in mind, ABT is running a teen-youth anti-bullying community impact project entitled, “I Am What I Am” in conjunction with the run of the La Cage aux Folles. In the spirit of inclusion and acceptance, Arizona Broadway Theatre and Herberger Theater Center are proud to host this interpreted performance for the Arizona Deaf community at the 2pm show on Saturday, March 14, 2020. BUY TICKETS FOR THIS PERFORMANCE.

About our ASL Interpreting Team

Lisa Schulman is a Washington, DC, native with extensive onstage drama and musical theater experience since early elementary school.  Now based in Phoenix, AZ, Lisa holds an RID NIC (National Interpreter Certification) and specializes in Theatrical interpreting, as well as Mental Health and Addiction & Recovery settings. Her favorite shows to have interpreted include the Broadway national tours of Hamilton, Pippin, Book of Mormon, and Aladdin, and local professional productions of Avenue Q, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Cabaret. Lisa is thrilled to collaborate on another show for Arizona Broadway Theatre.

Cameron Eggers has been involved in theatre and dance from a young age. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language, he became immersed with the Deaf Community in Sacramento, California, where he discovered his passion for interpreting. Cameron was also a company member for the Sacramento Contemporary Dance Theatre, where he collaborated with the Deaf Community and Hearing Community alike to aid in curating Sign of Life, a production that embedded American Sign Language into Contemporary Dance movement. This production benefited Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and CODA youth. After relocating to Phoenix, Arizona, Cameron became certified and now works as a professional interpreter in many settings, with theatre closest to his heart. Cameron is currently a company member with Scorpius Dance Theatre under the direction of Lisa Starry. Cameron would like to thank Arizona Broadway Theatre for a warm welcome, and he looks forward to La Cage Aux Folles.

Missy Keast is the ASL Coach for this interpreted performance of La Cage Aux Folles. Profoundly Deaf, she has taught ASL classes since 1989 and today owns the ASL online curriculum website (www.aslinside.com). After training with the National Theatre of the Deaf in the early 1990s, Missy worked at Deaf West Theatre as an ASL consultant in several plays including Oliver! and also worked at Southwest Shakespeare Company in the mid-2000s where Cyrano was her favorite production!

Brandon Kazen-Maddox plays Bitelle/Cagelle in La Cage Aux Folles and has also been the Deaf Community Liaison for this interpreted performance. Brandon is a Grandchild of Deaf Adults (GODA) and a third-generation native user of American Sign Language (ASL). Based in New York City, he recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with his Master of Fine Arts degree from the department of Dance and New Technology. He began his career as a gymnast from the age of four, attended the San Francisco Circus Center’s Professional Training Program in Chinese Acrobatics in 2010 and worked as a professional circus acrobat and dancer for seven years in San Francisco, CA. Brandon is also the president and CEO of Body Language Productions, Inc., an American Sign Language Dance Theater and Video Production Company (2012). Brandon is grateful to Arizona Broadway Theatre for accommodating his Deaf family members and bringing the art of musical theatre to the Arizona Deaf community!

Love is Love is Love — that is the message of ‘La Cage aux Folles’

By Clayton Phillips, Director, ABT La Cage aux Folles

First, there was a French comedy written in 1973 by Jean Poiret. The translation of the title is “The Cage of Madwomen” (or Fools). In 1978 there was a Franco-Italian film of the same title, which is the basis for the musical La Cage aux Folles, which was originally presented on Broadway in 1983. There was also an American film entitled The Birdcage.

At the heart of this story is an older couple who have been together for many years. They care for one another in ways that only a long-lasting and unconditional love allows. They also havea child, whom they love. There may be ups and downs, but there is love. Love that transcends differences of opinions and relies on compromises and understanding. The unique part of this story is that the couple is two men: Georges and Albin. Two men who have been together for a long time in a loving relationship, raising a child who is the biological child of Georges.

This was a time before Marriage Equality was even considered as an option. One of these men owns the club “La Cage aux Folles,” a nightclub with female impersonators as entertainment. The other half of that couple is the star of that club: the incomparable ZAZA! The comedy ensues when their son decides he is marrying a young lady whose family will never accept his family, and they are brought together in a hysterical clash of values and ideologies allowing us to experience fabulous female impersonators and teaching us, along the way, that we can all find a way to get along.

When I first saw the film of La Cage aux Folles in 1978, I loved the premise and how it just presented this older (sometimes bickering) couple with such honesty and love. A same-sex couple, in those days, was usually either comic relief or ridiculed, and this film challenged our perspectives. We see a healthy long-term relationship that, while still mimicking the tradition of a male/female relationship, is complex and loving.

One of the major themes of the musical is “illusion.” The illusion of the images we present. What you see is not always what is the truth. What we see is an illusion, a vision of what we want to be seen. Our illusions, in life, are not as clear cut as a male presenting himself as a female, they run deeper. Each and every one of us present illusions every day. Sometimes they are healthy and sometimes they are not. Love can see past illusion to truth, and true love accepts both the illusion and the truth. Albin sings “I am what I am, and what I am is an illusion,” and we shall discover what is behind that illusion. Love.

Love is Love is Love.

BUY TICKETS TO LA CAGE AUX FOLLES

Top Ten Reasons To See Arizona Broadway Theatre’s ‘La Cage Aux Folles’

By Maddy Dowler

  1. Men dancing in high heels.
  2. Seth Tucker is hilarious as Jacob, the outlandish butler/maid.
  3. The salted caramel panna cotta is To. Die. For.
  4. Jamie Parnell as Georges with his beautiful voice makes a heart go pitter-patter.
  5. Jacob and those short shorts.
  6. Michael Ursua’s portrayal of Albin/Zaza is show-stopping!
  7. The birdcage number is absolutely gorgeous.
  8. Did I mention Jacob?
  9. The vichyssoise (served hot) is delish!
  10. This amazing night out satisfies all the senses!

BUY TICKETS HERE

Arizona Broadway Theatre Launches La Cage aux Folles Teen-Youth Anti-Bullying Community Impact Project in Partnership with Other Valley Community Organizations

By Maddy Dowler, Communications Manager

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) – known for its high-quality musical theatre productions since opening its doors in 2005 – is now creating opportunities to give back to the community through show-specific Impact Projects that correspond to the subject matter of the show running on stage. The first Impact Project is a teen-youth anti-bullying campaign entitled, “I Am What I Am,” which includes partnerships with Herberger Theater Center (HTC) and other Phoenix-based community organizations such as One Community and One n Ten.

Beginning January 24, La Cage aux Folles will run on ABT’s Mainstage in Peoria through February 28, 2020, and then transfer to Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix March 6-22.

With music by the late Jerry Herman (Mame, Hello, Dolly!) and book by Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, Hairspray, Kinky Boots), La Cage Aux Folles is the winner of six Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and has become one of the most popular musicals of all time. Opening in 1983, the show broke barriers for LGBTQ+ representation by becoming one of the first hit Broadway musicals centered around a same-sex relationship (later made into the movie “The Birdcage” with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane). The show’s now-infamous torch-song, “I Am What I Am,” has become an anthem within the greater LGBTQ+ community.

“While the central theme of La Cage may focus on the issues of inclusion and acceptance related to the LGBTQ+ community,” says Brad York, ABT Director of Marketing & Development, “our intent with the ‘I Am What I Am!’ teen-youth anti-bullying Impact Project is to broaden the focus of inclusion and acceptance among all people, regardless of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, national origin or socio-economic background; especially teen-youth who confront the demands and pressures inflicted by today’s modern, fast-paced social atmosphere. At the end of the day, we should all be accepted for who we are.”

On January 11, the cast of La Cage will perform at the One Community Block Party for Equality in downtown Phoenix, and several ABT and HTC staff will lead a panel along with other local arts organizations on the importance of inclusion in the arts and in the state of Arizona. Find more information on the Block Party at http://bit.ly/OCBPE2020.

 ABT will also partner with One n Ten, whose mission is to serve LGBTQ+ youth and young adults ages 11-24. One-n-Ten provides empowering social and service programs that promote self-expression, self-acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices.

As part of this partnership, ABT will host fifty-six One n Ten participants at the opening night of La Cage  in Peoria on January 24. The youth will be treated to chartered transportation to and from ABT, a free performance of La Cage aux Folles, and complimentary dessert at intermission, followed by a meet and greet with the cast after the show. On March 11, ABT and HTC staff, project sponsors, and the cast of La Cage will visit the One n Ten facility in downtown Phoenix to learn more about the important work One n Ten is doing to improve the lives of young adults. Learn more about One n Ten at https://onenten.org/.

For the run of La Cage at HTC, partial funding has been provided by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture through appropriations from the Phoenix City Council.

We’d like to thank our sponsors for La Cage and this important impact project, Jim Cramer, Allen Kalchik, Judd Barlow, Matt Peterson, and Linda & Scarlett Buscemi-Spring.

For ticket information to La Cage aux Folles, CLICK HERE.

‘La Cage aux Folles’ cast members to perform at One Community Block Party for Equality!

Kick off the New Year with us at the ONE Community Block Party for Equality!

Held on 4th Avenue south of Van Buren in partnership with Downtown Phoenix, Inc. & The Van Buren, this will be THE celebration to kick off the New Year!

This family friendly event will bring together the diverse LGBTQ and allied community members and Arizonans from around the state to connect with companies and organizations of every kind who support and promote diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans.

In partnership with the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild and the Arizona Restaurant Association, the ONE Community Block Party for Equality will be a first-class tasting event as well as featuring fabulous entertainment throughout the day.

Participating Breweries include Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co, Barrio Brewing Co., Four Peaks Brewing Co., Huss Brewing Company, Mother Road Beer, OHSO Brewery- Arcadia, That Brewery & Pub and more!

Arizona Broadway Theatre and the Herberger Theater Center will lead a panel on the importance of inclusion in the arts and in our state. You won’t want to miss the cast of La Cage aux Folles performing “We Are What We Are!”

Arizona Theatre Company will also perform highlights from their 2019-2020 season — songs of lives drawn outside the lines, bending boundaries, defying gender and in the spotlight.

And, Arizona Opera singers will perform the greatest moments from the hit La Boheme.

Sip, nibble, interact and engage with Arizona’s best LGBTQ inclusive businesses and organizations at the ONE Community Block Party for Equality!

When: Saturday, January 11th, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Where: The Van Buren | 401 West Van Buren Street | Phoenix

Tickets: http://bit.ly/OCBPE2020

Meet The Cast Of Arizona Broadway Theatre’s Production Of ‘La Cage aux Folles’

Arizona Broadway Theatre’s production of La Cage aux Folles will run at the theatre in Peoria, AZ January 24 – February 28, 2020 and will then transfer to the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix from March 6 – 22, 2020. We are pleased to announce the cast!

Georges……………………………………………………………………………………… Jamie Parnell

“Les Cagelles”

Chantal……………………………………………………………………………… Chris Hendricks

Hanna…………………………………………………………………………. Stephen Hohendorf

Mercedes…………………………………………………………………………… Eduardo Uribe

Bitelle………………………………………………………………….. Brandon Kazen-Maddox

Angelique………………………………………………………………………………….. Cody Petit

Phaedra…………………………………………………………………………………. Izzy Arrieta

Babette……………………………………………………………………………………. Seana Nicol

Colette……………………………………………………………………………… Michelle Lemon

Francis…………………………………………………………………………………………. DJ Hersh

Jacob………………………………………………………………………………………… Seth Tucker

Albin/Zaza…………………………………………………………………………….. Michael Ursua

Jean-Michel………………………………………………………………………………. Zane Hadish

Anne………………………………………………………………………………….. Alexandra Carter

Jacqueline……………………………………………………………………………………… Kat Gold

Renaud…………………………………………………………………………. Versee Damien Carter

Mme. Renaud…………………………………………………………………………….. Brandi Bigley

Edouard Dindon……………………………………………………………………….. Mark Woodard

Mme. Dindon…………………………………………………………………………. Carolyn McPhee