Founded in 2003 by Bill English and Susi Damilano, the New York Times has described San Francisco Playhouse as “a company that stages some of the most consistently high-quality work around.” Currently showing their production of La Cage aux Folles, the off-Union Square 199-seat theatre did not disappoint. Based on the book by Harvey Fierstein, Director Bill English took the French play by Jean Poiret and adapted it to music written by Jerry Herman – with meaningful, timely lyrics wrapped in catchy showtunes.
The gestalt of the play is drag queen meets doting mother. For all the flamboyant costuming and music, the heart of the play speaks to the lengths to which parents will go to secure their child’s happiness. As Director Bill English said, “La Cage digs deeper than the smile on our faces. It challenges us to fulfill part two of our mission, to deepen self-awareness.” Indeed, in the current political climate, the show-stopping lyrics of “I Am What I Am” speaks volumes about acceptance of not only ourselves, but of others who may look and behave and believe differently than us.
It’s fun to grab a drink and appetizer at Farallon, which sits just below the second-story theatre. We were lucky enough to be there opening night, and had the pleasure of experiencing the play to a full house, with a colorful, cheerful and accepting San Francisco crowd. The current show runs through September 16, but the SF Playhouse has a full annual production calendar. #proudofmycity
IF YOU GO:
San Francisco Playhouse
450 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102