W!LD RICE’s La Cage Aux Folles: Making Bold Statements Visually and Literally

La Cage Aux Folles was first brought to stage in 2012 by W!LD RICE, and despite being five years ago, it is difficult to forget all the glitz and glamour that shone on stage. We are pleasantly surprised this musical is the one to kick off the 2017 season of this wild and unstoppable theatre company.

This musical welcomes the audience into Tanjong Pagar’s most famous nightclub La Cage Aux Folles. George hosts while his partner Albin headlines the cabaret as glamourous Zaza. Things start taking a turn when George’s son Jonathan announces his plans of marrying Anne, daughter of Dr. CK Tan who is a politician with plans to shut down nightlife and all stereotypical values that come with it. How would a “meet-the-parents” go with the two sides meeting for the first time?

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Directed once again by Glen Goei, most of the creative team were part of the first edition such as choreographer Lisa Keegan, music director Elaine Chan, costume designer Frederick Lee and hair designer Ashley Lim.

It is indeed exciting to be able to work on a project again many years later to discover new elements, and to make it as relevant as ever. Having seen the 2012 production, we admire the artistry presented once again on stage and the adjustment to the script to add layers of meaning that reflect lives today.

Unafraid of standing by values that may cause controversy in Singapore, the pointed open commentary and shutting down of narrow mindsets is in itself an act we appreciate and applaud. It is a show of empowerment that they have the ability to share, and W!LD RICE delivered as always.

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The cast is stellar. With everyone bringing out their different characters well and with ease, the audience is able to sense everyone’s intentions and empathise. They bring the story to life and along the way, invited the audience to be a part of it.

Sean Ghazi plays George with charisma and sauve. He also has an excellent voice and listening to him sing is a joy. Albin / Zaza is played by Ivan Heng – a diva with a heart as gold as the dresses. He really pulls our heart strings and speaks bitter truths we need to hear. Hossan Leong is hilarious and really makes an impression whenever he is on stage as Leslie. The same can be said for Jo Tan as Marie Tan, wife of Dr CK Tan. Their comic timing is fantastic and something to look forward to in scenes their in.

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The ensemble consisting of Tiffany Tallon, Dwayne Lau, Crenshaw Yeo, Amin Alifin Alias, Ryan Ang, Gino Babagay, Andy Benjamin Cai, Ana Carazo and Yang Weicheng, pulls off immaculate choreography. Their singing, costume changes and dance numbers are surprises that are delightful to discover. Their chemistry with each other is present and their floor patterns are done with great skill.

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With bold statements to stand for, a talented cast and crew executing their best artistic vision, this is the show to watch and makes you yearn for more.

Beyond just feathers, glamourous looks and spot-on humour, La Cage Aux Folles is at its heart about the people. This musical seeks to speak about acceptance and challenge the ridiculous assumptions we may have about lives we do not understand, and that is why we need the theatre.

Bring us back to La Cage Aux Folles at Tanjong Pagar anytime.

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La Cage Aux Folles

Date: 19th April – 13th May 2017
Venue: Victoria Theatre
Time: Tuesday to Saturday – 8pm, Saturday and Sunday – 3pm
Admission: From $60 (Concessions available. Get your tickets here.)

Photography credits: Albert Lim KS


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