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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Laberge

Outskirts and LaCage band together to create something special (and it sparkles!)

All things glitz, glamour, and gay, Outskirts Theatre celebrates its ten year anniversary in a partnership with LaCage NiteClub's 40th anniversary with a dazzling production of La Cage Aux Folles. This performance is a love letter to the Milwaukee queer community this Pride, featuring different local queens each show in addition to the Outskirts cast lineup.

The ensemble of La Cage Aux Folles.

La Cage Aux Folles is a heartwarming comedy - well-known for its adaptation as "The Birdcage" in 1996 - that follows Albin and Georges, an old married couple and owners of a successful drag nightclub, as they navigate their son's impeding nuptials to a the daughter of a traditional family politician. The piece is framed beautifully around the queer experience in reflection of hate, never allowing the dissent to overshadow their joy.

And wow, is it joyful! The show starts off with a bang as the queens of the club dance through the audience at LaCage. The ensemble is polished. Their performances deliver consistency throughout the show that maintains the illusion that you have walked into Georges and Albin's labor of love. The surrounding supporting characters each step into the limelight for their moment - whether it be Marie Dindon (Kim Giddens) drunkenly rolling onstage, Jacob's (Keith Smith) comedic timing, or Jacqueline (Jackey Boelkow) warming the house with her pristine vocals - and leave space for the love between Albin and Georges to take center stage.

Parker Cristan and Ryan Rehak.

Ryan Rehak plays Albin, better known as her stage name Zaza, with surprising softness. A role that can be larger than life - as some audiences may expect from her showstopper "I Am What I Am" - is instead played through a lens of sensitivity that makes the audience keenly aware of the emotions on her sleeve. Rehak's unique perspective in the role highlights the hurt of her rejection and the depth of her capacity for love. As Albin's other half, Parker Cristan's Georges is a tender father figure. The adoration with which he views his partner establishes an understanding between the two of them that rests beyond the depth of the text. Their relationship feels timeless.

The cast of La Cage Aux Folles.

Samantha Paige's choreography paired with Robert T. Sharon's costume design bring pizazz from the cast's tapping toes to their jazz hands. Jonathan Hetler's direction has a clear understanding of balance - to keep the humor light, the performances fun, and the heart of the story poignant.

La Cage Aux Folles runs through June 30th - this immersive explosion of gaiety is the perfect cap to your Pride month activities!



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