Arlington: ‘Family Is Family’ in 'La Cage Aux Folles'

Arlington: ‘Family Is Family’ in 'La Cage Aux Folles'

Signature stages gender-bending musical comedy “La Cage Aux Folles.”

Signature Theatre in Arlington is staging "La Cage Aux Folles," a musical about family, identity and loving who you are, May 31 through July 10, 2016. The play is based on a book by Harvey Fierstein ("Newsies," "Kinky Boots") and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman ("Hello, Dolly!," "Mame").


Signature Theatre's "La Cage Aux Folles" stars Isaiah Young, Bobby Smith, and Jay Westin, from May 31 through July 10.

The gender-bending comedy focuses on a gay couple in a 20-year relationship: Georges, the manager of a Saint Tropez nightclub that features drag entertainment, and Albin, his romantic partner and head drag performer, and what happens when Georges's son Jean-Michel brings home his fiancee's ultra-conservative political parents to meet them. To please their son, Georges and Albin agree to hide their lifestyle and play it straight for a dinner with the potential in-laws. However, Albin's different definition of normal threatens to upend the entire supper.

The original 1983 Broadway production received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and the 2010 Broadway revival was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

Paul Scanlan plans the role of Jean-Michel, the son of Georges and Albin, who comes home after a while away from home, with the news that he's getting married.

Scanlan said the show is about family, what makes up our definition of that word and who our family really is. "(Director) Matthew Gardiner has shaped this show into not only a gorgeous, visually stimulating show, but a very warm and tender piece about how strong the bond of family is and can be," he said.

He added that working in "La Cage" has been exciting for him, yet difficult. "It's required me to be emotionally vulnerable, something I haven't had to do on stage in my most recent work, so going to that emotional place you don't normally find yourself in can be very uncomfortable, but ultimately rewarding," he said.

Jessica Lauren Ball plays the role of Anne Dindon, the fiance of Jean Michel, and the daughter of Deputy Edouard Dindon, "the most famous anti-homosexual on the Riviera."

She said the most challenging aspect for her in working on "La Cage" has been figuring out who Ann is when there's not a lot of text in the script about her. "Paul and I and Mitch and Sherry got together with Matt Gardiner and talked about our family history, and that helped a lot," she said. "That kind of dialogue is often very fun, but when your character doesn't have much to say, the possibilities can be endless. It's a tough decision to trust what is the 'right' answer when, in this case, there really isn't a 'wrong' answer."

She added: "I hope that after seeing "La Cage," audiences will have the sense that acceptance is very easily attainable between all of us, and begins best in our own families. Even though there may be major differences in the ingredients, when you boil them down, family is family."

Signature Theatre is staging "La Cage Aux Folles," from May 31 through July 10. Showtimes are Tuesdays through Saturdays, at 7:30 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Speciality Nights include Post-Show Discussion Nights June 7 and 15; Pride Nights June 17 and July 1; and Open Captioned Performances June 19 at 2 p.m. and July 5 at 7:30 p.m. Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call the box office at 703-820-9771 or visit