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La Cage

July 30, 2012

(photo credit: © Albert Lim KS)

Event: “La Cage aux Folles” by W!ld Rice
Venue: Esplanade Theatre
Run: 20th July – 4th Aug 2012
Music & Lyrics: Jerry Herman
Book: Harvey Fierstein
Director: Glen Goei

Showgirls, feathers, glitter & glam. Welcome to the the world of La Cage aux Folles and be prepared to be razzle-dazzled by the colourful display of cabaret-style dance and song. With a touch of Singapore flavour, the show is set in the district of Tanjong Pagar, with its glitzy night life, up-class restaurants and…old-style shophouses and coffee shops.

The show was hugely entertaining, with the sassy Cagelles filling the stage with their vibrant costumes and dance moves. You couldn’t take your eyes off the stage when the “show” was on. However, the show wasn’t all about the glitz. Off the “stage”, the characters are brought down to reality and what goes behind is about love and family. About accepting your loved ones as who they are, and sacrifices that one makes out of love, though it may not be fully appreciated. And love is not love if it is built on lies, like how Jonathan wanted to hide the truth from his potential in-laws. It’ll be found out sooner or later.

The musical numbers were not extensive, comprising quite a few reprises in the second act. But what was probably the most memorable would be the defining “I Am What I Am”, the emotional and resolute piece of Albin (Ivan Heng). The show was definitely not dreary in any way, but light-hearted, with its moments of humour, supplied by the dramatic gestures of Albin, and an all’s well that ends well finale. I felt though, that the Jonathan here didn’t really care for Albin as much as he would, to convince me of his remorse at the end.

One of the best voices for the night would be Tony Eusoff, especially when he rounded up “Song on the Sand” in the first act. Although, I believe this is the first time I’m watching him, I was duly impressed when he belted out that solo.

And then, you have Ivan Heng. Indeed, you can’t imagine anyone else playing Zaza/Albin as he did. He may not have as smooth a voice as Tony, but Ivan Heng was truly the soul of the show.  You can tell how much he puts into the role and plays it out to the fullest.

I enjoyed the musical, and behind all the glamour, what truly mattered was learning the dare to love and the standing by and acceptance of who you love.

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