Monday, 22 September 2014

Birthmonth Day Twenty-Two: La Cage Aux Folles (and Musical Monday #79)


So I decided to take The Housemate to the theatre for his birthday.  Besides, he’d been sulking for about a year that I got to go and see Hairspray and he didn’t, since he was the fan not me, so I decided I had to do something to shut him up

Ultimately The 39 Steps was a way better show so that’s what he was getting.  Besides, I knew he would love it.  If he could shut up about Hairspray for a minute.

But while I was looking up what was on in the West End I realised that Philip Quast was there.

I have been in love-awe with Philip Quast’s voice ever since the first time I heard him sing.  This was as Javert on a ‘best of’ Les Misérables CD I found in the house at some point in The Youth.  This was really what got me interested in musical soundtracks.  I managed to get hold of a few other things with him in, and was just more and more in love with his perfect voice.

During college, I was rooting for him to win Best Actor In A Musical Olivier Award for South Pacific while The Butler rooted for Jonathan Pryce from My Fair Lady, and Team Quast won. 
The sad part is, I actually really like Jonathan Pryce
(although I loathe My Fair Lady)

I currently have the soundtracks to The Secret Garden, South Pacific, Evita, Live At The Donmar (which appears to be signed), Les Misérables 10th Anniversary Cast, and Hey Mr Producer, as well as some of the songs from that ‘Best Of Les Misérables’ CD copied on to The Computer (I don’t know where the actual CD is now, possibly at The Mother’s house, it presumably belonging to her in the first place), which means I have THREE different versions of Philip Quast singing ‘Stars’.

And sure I’ve seen at least some of the 10th Anniversary Les Misérables concert on video and I own the Hey Mr Producer DVD and I’ve seen the TV show Ultraviolet a couple times, but I had never actually seen him live

And then I saw that he was playing Georges in La Cage Aux Folles at Playhouse Theatre, so there was no option at all.  I had to go see it, regardless of the fact that this trip was supposed to be for The Housemate. 

La Cage Aux Folles (music & lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play "La Cage Aux Folles" by Jean Poiret/Playhouse Theatre/8th June 2009).

There was a chilling moment when we arrived and saw those understudy signs everywhere – three roles were being played by different actors (although actually it was more like two, because one was playing the role of what another would have been playing if he wasn’t playing a different role that day (simple)) – but after some frantic reading none of the characters were Georges, so we were okay.
And I couldn’t believe it.  Because although the show itself wasn’t quite what I was expecting (it’s not very much like the film) (or the other film, for that matter) Philip Quast was actually BETTER than I was anticipating.  This is a man whose voice I had worshipped for as long as I could remember.  It shouldn’t have been possible for him to live up to expectations, but he far surpassed them.  He was fantastic.  A brilliantly funny actor.  So now I can admire him for all his performance abilities, not just his voice.  The man is astounding.

And to be fair, I did also take The Housemate to see

The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly/9th June 2009)

And I was right, he adored it.

Every trip to London since.

And now, for Musical Monday, some examples of that voice:

Whatever You Believe (from The Hunting Of The Snark) (…wait for it)
Stars (from Les Misérables)

Lily’s Eyes (from The Secret Garden)

And whatever this is:

You're welcome.


  1. I don't remember complaining about a lack of "manliness" in La Cage Aux Folles, but I suppose I must have done since you've reproduced it here... (Bet you're thinking, "I can convince him of anything!" So then The Housemate have me his power of attorney...)

    Thanks for getting that stupid song stuck in my head. Particularly Hugh Jackman's dodgy accent and John Barrowman's excessive, um... John Barrowmanness.

    1. Is the second half of your comment referring to a previous post? Like a week previous?


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