Girdles, dancing girls, mascara, and a Jerry Herman score all combine to form the basis for the gay romp known as La Cage aux Folles. Even with Harvey Fierstein currently leading the production as Albin, the current Broadway production is a little less gay than usual. Jeffrey Tambor, who entered the production opposite Harvey Fierstein on February 15, has been released of his contract (playing Fierstein’s husband, Georges) with the show since February 24.
The producers of the show issues a statement that referenced the fact that Jeffrey Tambor had recently had a hip replacement, and that the strains of doing a show eight times a week was too much for him. Now, as with any good press release, not everyone believed this. A certain “reporter”/”critic”/thing for the New York Post reported that Tambor had been struggling with the score and was visibly uneasy when in front of a live audience. He even gave this little gem of a quote about the struggling actor:
“He’s hitting notes in some of Jerry Herman’s lovely ballads that aren’t found anywhere on the traditional Western scale.”
Nothing like kicking an actor when he’s down.
This brings up a point about the role of Georges, though. In the 2005 Broadway Revival of La Cage aux Folles, there were severe rumors about severe tensions running in the cast. Actor Daniel Davis (Of The Nanny fame) was in the role of Georges, while Gary Beach was playing Albin. Supposedly there was a constant feud between the two, which eventually led to the dismissal of Mr. Davis. He was later replaced by Robert Goulet (Of Goulet fame).
Not saying that the role is cursed, but even the original Georges on Broadway (Gene Barry) only had minimal television, movie, and theatre offers after his time in the show. And he had an extensive career before going into it!
If this is any sign for the good things that happen for those that play Georges on Broadway, then Kelsey Grammer, who originated the role in the current production, should be keeping an eye out. He married his newest wife on the stage of the Longacre Theatre, where La Cage aux Folles is currently playing, on February 25.