• Ben O'Reilly as Albin and his alter ego Zaza.

    Ben O'Reilly as Albin and his alter ego Zaza.

  • Don Bemrose and Christian Hemsley

    Don Bemrose and Christian Hemsley

  • Jacquelyn Richards and Garrick Smith

    Jacquelyn Richards and Garrick Smith

  • Sharon Lok, Scott Clouder, Tushara Wickramariyaratine and Howard Grace

    Sharon Lok, Scott Clouder, Tushara Wickramariyaratine and Howard Grace

  • Jane Faulder, Deborah Pitt, Breanna Fitzgibbon and Pamela McPherson

    Jane Faulder, Deborah Pitt, Breanna Fitzgibbon and Pamela McPherson

  • Emmy Pennifold, Rachael Stenhouse, Bridget Perman and Courtney Perman

    Emmy Pennifold, Rachael Stenhouse, Bridget Perman and Courtney Perman

  • Jenni Pyne, Loretta Basei, Navreen Kular and Tania Ahmed

    Jenni Pyne, Loretta Basei, Navreen Kular and Tania Ahmed

  • Canapes: maybe not what they seem.

    Canapes: maybe not what they seem.

  • Rosanna Boyd and Ben Trabinger

    Rosanna Boyd and Ben Trabinger

  • David Santolin

    David Santolin

  • Charles Oliver, hairdresser and ensemble performer.

    Charles Oliver, hairdresser and ensemble performer.

  • Ben Trabinger with Jarrad West who stars as Georges.

    Ben Trabinger with Jarrad West who stars as Georges.

  • Kym Starr

    Kym Starr

  • Nathan Rorups

    Nathan Rorups

  • Suzan Cooper, Costume Designer Extraordinaire and Ruth Boddy Supa Secretary.

    Suzan Cooper, Costume Designer Extraordinaire and Ruth Boddy Supa Secretary.

La Cage aux Folles at the ANU Arts Centre

12 November 2014

In a very ordinary dressing room at the ANU Arts Centre amid a flurry of primping, preening, posturing and pursing I felt in sync with the ‘girls’ and ‘guys’ of La Cage aux Folles as they prepared for a show that is as exciting as the old days of Les Girls, the current days of The Tropicana in Havana, Cuba, as entertaining as The Moulin Rouge, and brings back memories of the Broadway version from the mid eighties. We all love a good dress up and this show is a marathon of makeup, fabulous wigs and extraordinary costumes with fast changes and fancy footwork in heels most of us can’t go the distance in anymore. The music, lighting, and set design are exceptional, the cast wonderful and its great entertainment.
 

La Cage aux Folles is a triumph for Supa Productions with masterful work by director Garrick Smith and a cast and crew seamlessly giving their all to a story that is timeless and so relevant. “My last” said Garrick! Please no, don’t say it Garrick, you just never know when another opportunity will lure your talent to a production as exciting as Titanic, as flamboyant as Cage and its just what you love to do. He met me in the foyer uncharacteristically dressed in what Charles Oliver called ‘mufti’ as opposed to his usual drop dead stunning ensembles, but he was running on empty and most of his fabulous clobber is in the show.

Yes Ben O’Reilly as Zaza struts her stuff in the trailing faux fur coat I’ve photographed a few times and in the fully beaded evening jacket I lust for while Jarrad West as Georges gets the oh so elegant tux with lapel décor. And the reason for waxing lyrical about costumes is because that is the tip of the iceberg for this production where costume designer Suzan Cooper has created a magnificent array of silks, satins, laces, feathers, frills and furbelows. With her team she’s beaded and sequined, added sparkles, lights that glow and corsetry to control the disparate shapes of the boys and the girls who will be show girls for Les Cagelles.

So rather than tell you the story – you probably know it from the movie - The Birdcage with Robin Williams- anyway let me encourage you to see it. As Garrick says the finale is worth the cost of admission alone and you’ll love the show. And I reckon it is probably the best yet for Supa. La Cage aux Folles is at the ANU Arts Centre until 22 November.