Ivan Heng getting his drag on backstage. Photo: Wild Rice
Before there was the Boom Boom Room or Neptune Theatre, but on 20 July to 4 August another glamorous club -- La Cage Aux Folles -- makes its debut in Singapore; or that's what Wild Rice and Glen Goei want you to think.
The musical is staged and adapted by the Singapore theatre company into a local context from its original Broadway and West End versions. Set in modern-day Singapore, 'La Cage' features a gay couple (George and Albin) running a nightclub only to have their plans wrecked when their son wants to marry the daughter of a politician determined to shut down the club.
The cast boasts Malaysian leads Tony Eusoff (George) and Aaron Khaled (John), local thespian Ivan Heng who plays the lead role of Albin/Zaza, as well as a 13-member Cagelles ensemble hailing from Sydney, Singapore, Phillipines, Canberra, New York and London.
The musical also stars Hossan Leong, Tan Kheng Hua and Karen Tan.
Speaking at a media preview at the Esplanade, director Glen Goei said that the musical had values which were important to him: "This musical is about tolerance, understanding, family, love....."
According to the director, he first saw the musical in London 24 years ago with his mother and he thought that now is the perfect time to bring it to Singapore, albeit with a local twist. "It made a strong impression on me," Goei says.