In 1983, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s musical “La Cage aux Folles” became a surprise hit when it opened on Broadway. The show, which critic Frank Rich called “the first Broadway musical ever to give center stage to a homosexual love affair,” emerged at a time when the American public was beginning to shed its entrenched prejudices against gay men and drag. And though it’s not thought of as the most hard-edged or progressive piece of gay theater ever written, it did help nudge public acceptance of the gay community along.
The show tells the poignant and often funny story of a drag performer and his husband, a club impresario, as they deal with their son’s desire to marry the daughter of a conservative politician. Mike Nichols’ 1996 film “The Birdcage” was adapted from the musical.
MusicalFare Theatre’s production, now playing through Oct. 13, is directed by Chris Kelly. It stars Ben Puglisi as the drag performer Albin and Gregory Gjurich as his lover, Georges, along with a large cast of supporting characters.
The show is opening amid major construction at the theater (4380 Main St., Snyder), which is expanding its building to include a larger lobby and cabaret performance space. Tickets are $42, with more info at 839-8540 or www.musicalfare.com.
– Colin Dabkowski