Thursday, July 4, 2013

La Cerrito aux Folles

Capture 85 I’m sure there was a time and are some places where 20 Methodist going to see a production of La Cage Aux Folles as a church outing would be quite scandalous.  But, the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013 is not that time or place.  And what a fabulous outing it was!

The churches music director is the music director for Contra Costa Civic Theater’s production of La Cage Aux Folles, which runs through July 21.  Of course we had to go.  We were very excited to find that the band, including the music director on keyboards, is visible through the entire performance on a nice ledge perched over the center back of the stage.

CCCT has outdone itself with two fantastic musicals in a row.  After how amazing Next to Normal was, I was holding my breath a bit, half-expecting La Cage to fall back to the theater’s usual level of so-so musicals.  Instead, I was blown away.  The singing was grand, and the dancing – my goodness, the dancing was absolutely amazing.  All we could talk about after the show (other than the music director, of course) was “where did they find so many amazing male dancers for community theater?!” 

The 5 or 6 gentlemen that played Les Cagettes spent most of the three-hour show leaping, kicking, twirling and tapping in high-heeled mary janes.  The splits, the cheer-leading jumps, the pirouettes, were all jaw-droppingly impressive. 

The show was excellent, and the cast, crew and musicians should all be very proud of themselves.  If I had to give one piece of criticism on the performance it would only be that the woodwind player could use some more practice time with his clarinet.

The story part of the musical was ok.  The plot felt a bit hidden, sort of stuffed into the end as a reason to have all that spectacular dancing.  But I suppose it’s such a classic now, that hardly matters.  If you’re in the East Bay area and can make room in your weekend schedules this month, I’d recommend checking it out.

Side note: My favorite part was Sunday morning when everyone was settling in at church and the music director began playing tunes from the show for the “get ready for church to start” music.

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