La Cage Aux Folles

Last night we went to see the local Theatre of the Republic’s production of La Cage Aux Folles. I’ve been impressed by the ambition of both TOR and the Coastal Carolina theater department lately. They are not shying away from lavish productions or controversial material. You’d think this area would lean towards the stodgy, but the only two plays we’ve seen at TOR were both pretty risque.

The show was quite good, spectacular for an amateur effort. There were a few burbles here and there but nothing to derail the moment. It was funny for me, because the IT guy where I work had a part in it. Because we bought tickets very late I was sitting in the front row, farthest right chair, right next to the stage steps. The actors did a lot of walking out into the audience, either down the aisles or between the front row and the stage. Whenever they did, I had to pull my legs in. I didn’t want to be the guy that tripped Zaza. Towards the end when the melee in the restaurant happens, the actors scatter in all directions. The guy playing the right wing politician ran down those stairs, leaned into my face and yelled “What are you doing here?” and then ran off. It was hilarious. My wife and I laughed for the next five minutes regardless of what was happening on stage.

In the rest room during intermission, I caught a funny moment of small town life. Two older guys (we were about the youngest people at the show) were talking about the lead performer, who is also the executive director of the theater. “He sure does make an ugly woman” the first one said. “Are you kidding me?” the second replied. “He makes an ugly man! He’s a nice guy and all, but let’s be reasonable.” Now hear that exchange in thick blue blood southern accents, and the hilarity is that much more.

It’s a good show. I recommend it. They’ve added a few extra shows at the end of the run, so if you are in the Grand Strand area check it out. It’s an interesting choice to schedule during bike week, but I imagine those guys were probably not in the market for a play in Conway anyway. Counter-programming, as it were.

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