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LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. COMPOSER: Jerry Herman. LYRICIST: Jerry Herman. BOOK: Harvey Fierstein. SOURCE: Jean Poriot’s play La Cage Aux Folles (1973) DIRECTOR: Arthur Laurents. CHOREOGRAPHER: Scott Salmon... Read More

45 mins

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COMPOSER: Jerry Herman

LYRICIST: Jerry Herman

BOOK: Harvey Fierstein

SOURCE: Jean Poriot’s play La Cage Aux Folles (1973)

DIRECTOR: Arthur Laurents


PRINCIPLE CAST: Gene Barry (Georges), George Hearn (Albin), John Weiner (Jean-Michel)

OPENING DATE: Aug 21, 1983

CLOSING DATE: Nov 15, 1987


SYNOPSIS: La Cage Aux Folles is a drag club owned by George and Albin, two men who have been together for twenty years. When Georges’ son Jean-Michel arrives and announces he is engaged to the daughter of a homophobic politician, Georges and Albin must try to decide how they will deal with their son’s intolerance.

Comparing early responses to Queer representation in film and cinema from French and American audiences, Robert W. Schneider sets the scene for the opening of La Cage Aux Folles, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s musical adaptation of a French farce featuring the first leading homosexual couple for the Broadway musical. Director Arthur Laurents was staunch in his desire that the show refrain from seeming overtly political, desiring instead to present an old-fashioned musical which featured a gay love story. This chapter details the positive impact La Cage Aux Folles had on LGBTQIA+ representation worldwide, it also touches on how the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s dampered the optimistic tone set by the musical.

Robert W. Schneider holds academic appointments at Penn State University, New York Film Academy, and Mount Union University, as well as serving as the Artistic Director for The J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company and as an original programming producer at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City. He is the host of the podcasts Behind The Curtain: Broadway’s Living Legends, Gay Card Revoked, and This Was A Thing. For the past fifteen years Robert has been one of the most prolific leaders of online education in the arts. He is a proud member of SDC, AEA, and AGVA.


La Cage Aux Folles by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman, published by Samuel French (2014)

La Cage Aux Folles, Original Cast Recording. RCA Records (1983)

Showtune: A Memoir by Jerry Herman, published by Dutton (1996)

Mainly on Directing by Arthur Laurents, Published by Knopf (2009)

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