The leading lady’s costumes have had to be sized up, but there was never any question of their not fitting. After all, it’s Harvey Fierstein who has stepped into the role (and corset, plumes and pumps) of Zaza, the main attraction of the nightclub and the musical named “La Cage aux Folles.”
Mr. Fierstein, you see, owns the role of Zaza — and that of her male alter ego, Albin — in a way that replacement stars on Broadway seldom do. It was he who, three decades ago, wrote the book for this 1983 musical (adapted from the French film of the same title) and won a Tony for it. And, as an actor, he has previously won Tonys for parts that required him to squeeze his ample frame into drop-dead dresses: his own “Torch Song Trilogy” (seen on Broadway in 1982) and the hit musical “Hairspray” (2002).
You might have predicted that for Mr. Fierstein, playing Albin/Zaza (for the first time) would be a walk in the park (or a promenade, since Zaza never merely walks), and so it proves. Appearing opposite a first-rate Christopher Sieber — as Georges, the St. Tropez nightclub host who is Albin’s longtime partner — Mr. Fierstein wears his sequins like an army veteran’s well-earned badges of honor. When he sings “I Am What I Am,” the show’s anthem, it is with blazing old-trouper authority.
read all via Harvey Fierstein Joins ‘La Cage aux Folles’ – NYTimes.com
Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times