The current London production of La Cage aux Folles may be headed for Broadway next season. According to Playbill.com, after producer Sonia Friedman accepted the Tony for best revival of a play for The Norman Conquests last night, she told the Tony press that her next Broadway outing will be a transfer of the well-received West End production of La Cage aux Folles, a "strictly limited" engagement that somehow keeps getting extended. Friedman said that the production would open in New York next spring, and feature its Olivier-winning star Douglas Hodge.
This announcement comes despite the decided lack of success for the 2004 revival of La Cage, which closed after 229 performances, shortly after winning the Tony for best revival of a musical.
I can't claim to have the same depth of knowledge about the London theater scene as I do about Broadway, but haven't the producers of La Cage in London been engaging in some pretty high-profile stunt casting? British TV show host Graham Norton played Zaza for three months earlier this year. And London hottie, and star of the BBC's "Torchwood," John Barrowman is set to join the cast in September. Is this desperation or shrewd producing on Friedman's part? London readers: what's the word on the street? Is the London La Cage a bona fide hit, or a manufactured one?
Even if the London La Cage is the genuine article, there's still a huge question as to whether new York is ready for Georges and Albin to return, no matter how good the production. Perhaps we're dealing with a little post-award bluster or production myopia here: sometimes people intimately involved in a production fail to see accurately how the ticket-buying public will react because they're too in love with the production to be objective. But, then, I don't have a great track record when it comes to predicting the economic success of Broadway revivals.
Whaddya think, readers? Are you ready for another La Cage?