SHOWING : June 10, 2004 - July 11, 2004
[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]
[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]
La cage Wonderful|
Monday, July 5, 2004 ||
I agree with all that bellsplayer said in his review, however, I must add that I have seen the play before and the movie. George Deavours portrayal of Albin was outstanding. I have never felt so much emotion from the character. Past performances have made Albin seem more a clown than a man with real feelings. George showed us the man behind the mask and truely made us feel for him. Bravo george and thank to the rest of the cast and crew for making my first visit to this little theater a wonderful experiance.|
Micvideo [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Live beats Memorex every time|
Sunday, July 4, 2004 ||
This is the first stage production of La Cage I have ever seen. I am quite familiar with the recent Robin Williams/Nathan Lane film and have seen the original French film. This show outshines either film.|
Darrell Wofford and George Deavours capture the chemistry of a couple who have shared a long life together making their characters Georges and Albin feel like people you actually know. Albin is not a boarderline basket case seemingly in need of medication, but a real man with real feelings. I really appreciate that Mr. Deavours was able to make his character his own without slipping into a Nathan Lane (or worse, Bette Midler) imitation.
That relationship casts the mold for the rest of the show to follow.
The set is fantastic. I can't believe how much depth they were able to get out of that small space. Jeroy Hannah certainly used every inch to create the club, apartment, backstage, street scene, cafe and restaurant with seamless fluidity in set changes which never once had me wondering where that scene was set.
Costuming is amazing. Les Cagelles are costumed almost identically, but the wide variety of body types of the 9 men and women are actually played up rather than down, with the variations adding to both the reality and the comedy of the moment.
Along with seamless scene changes were costume changes within the ensemble. There were times it seemed that someone went off one side of the stage dressed as a woman only to enter from the opposite side of the stage with all new hair, makeup and costume as a man.
Standouts within the ensemble were Christopher Skinner who makes a beautiful woman and a delightfully goofy young man, and Mark Schroeder as the stage manager who seems to be channelling Audrey from Little Shop at times. Royce Garrison and Steve Cernek were also quite good as the somewhat jaded Mercedes and Phaedra.
Jovocas Green gives a delightful performance as Jacob the butler/maid. As contrasted with Hank Azaria or the young man in the French film, I totally believed his character.
The rest of the ensemble and character actors filled out the show quite well and believably.
My few complaints which keep this from having scored a 5 are:
(1) ticket price--$20 for most performances, $24 for Saturday is just too high for community theater.
(2) the orchestra--I knew they were live and not on tape, but the sound system was so tinny that it sounded canned.
(3) misplaced production values--fancy color changing lights and a custom gobo of the show logo, but unrealistic leaf break-up gobos for the street scene. The 'matching' doors to outside and to the club that had one handle swirling down while the other swirled up. Excellent seams it the tulle curtain with a jaggged bottom edge. And most of all, exposed screw heads in much of the moulding.
All that being said, please go out and see this show. It is running for one more week.
jd [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
| || Community Theater by Girl|
| Neighborhood Playhouse's website says that they are "professional non-equity," not community. I don't really know what differentiates this "professional" theater from community, but that's beside the point. :)|
| || Professional vs Community by bellsplayer|
| That wording was crafted about 13 years back as a marketing and development tool to indicate that all people involved in the production of shows at Neighborhood Playhouse were being paid for their work.|
| || Professional by Girl|
| So as long as each person involved in the production is paid something (anything) a theater can be considered "professional"?|
| || Continued in Forum by bellsplayer|
| I've contiuned this line of comments in the Forum.|
| || On the Lighting (I had to do it...) by AmyLee|
| Alas, one of the constant struggles with doing theatre on this level is having to sit in the booth and run cues for the better part of tech week (in lieu of having a dedicated board op), sometimes missing more obvious points until it is too late. After leaving the show for a week, then going back and seeing it again fresh, I too think the leaf gobos were a little distracting in that one scene (out of how many??). Perhaps about 5 points lower would have been better. However, I stand by their use to set the scene and make it a different look from every other scene, but yes....they were a little too hot. Hardly what I would call a "misplaced production value", though.... (side note....I had the chance to change it after open, but decided to remain true to the design and keep what was there for opening. I believe audiences on closing night deserve to see exactly what the opening night audience saw).|
I also stand by the "fancy color changing lights". They were an integral part of the design and (I thought) were quite effective in their intent. I also thought the show logo was a nice touch, that little something "extra". Certainly a step above what is usually put on that stage, I think.
Thank you, JD/bellsplayer (what was your real name again....???) for taking the time to review the show. Constructive criticism is what makes us as artists grow and I appreciate yours.
-Amy Lee (Lighting Designer, La Cage)
| || One point I missed... by AmyLee|
| A point I failed to make is that if the gobos were not so hot in that scene, you probably would not have noticed they were unrealistic. You make due with what little budget you are given. I borrowed those gobos from another theatre.|
Once again, thank you for your post.
| || Gobos by bellsplayer|
| I was trying to contrast the expense and effort involved in the lovely color changing lights and custom show logo gobo (which I thought were a nice touch) with leaf breakup gobos which were unrealistic because that type of leaf (or tree) is quite uncommon along that stretch of Mediterranean coastline, and more specifically, that the shoreline in St Tropez is quite treeless. Since there were fishermen in fisherclothes in the scene, I assumed that it must have been close to the water. Now, if that cafe was up in the hills, that's another story.|
Designers, actors and directors all make choices, sometimes quite bold. Having the courage to stick to bold choices, and more to the point, having the courage and maturity to give the opening night audience the same show you give the closing night audience is one of the traits that separates professionals from non-professionals. I admire your commitment to the audience to give them the same show every night.
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