5 Questions with La Cage Aux Folles’ Albin, Ron Long

As Edmonton Pride Week closes, Two ONE-WAY Tickets to Broadway brings the 1983 Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles – a show about gay rights, families, and standing up for what you believe in – to La Cité Francophone. La Cage revolves around a gay couple: Georges (who owns a drag entertainment nightclub) and Albin (the nightclub’s star performer) as they try to accommodate their son’s request that their family appears to be a heterosexual family when he introduces his fiancee’s ultra-conservative family to them.

To tell us a bit more about La Cage, I posed five questions about the play to Ron Long, who plays Albin in the upcoming production:

JM: What drew you to audition for La Cage Aux Folles?

RL: Honestly I was asked to audition! But I really wanted to do Albin because he is one of the great roles. It is a gift and blessing to portray such a wonderful over-the-top character. Also, The Birdcage movie is one of my favorite.

JM: What idea or theme in La Cage speaks most to you?

RL: As angry as Albin gets he is always quick to forgive. That is probably my most favorite theme!

JM: Give us a sneak peak into the musical – what is your favourite scene and why?

RL: I love the “La Cage” number because it is set in the club and I get to play with the audience and be fabulous!

JM: Reading up about La Cage‘s history, it looks like the goal was to create a “mainstream musical” accessible by a broad audience and get their message about gay rights across in an entertaining way. What do you think about taking this approach to theatre that provides a social commentary?

RL: The movies and this show I think came at a very important time in the fight for gay rights. It was Harvey Fierstein’s intention to show gay men as wanting to be in long-lasting relationships and raise children and that those children can and would turn out normal. In the end we as human beings want the same thing: love and acceptance! In the end I think Hollywood, TV and the theatre has done more to show that we are really no different than any one else when it comes down to basic human needs. So yes the theatre is very important for pushing society along!

JM: While developing your character, Albin, how did you achieve that balance of mainstream entertainment with the very real difficult situation the character is facing?

RL: I think the show itself does the work to humanize my character as a transsexual being.

La Cage Aux Folles plays at La Cité Francophone June 13 – 29. Tickets are $16.75 – $28 from Tix on the Square.

Two ONE-WAY Tickets to Broadway is also offering a special VIP package for $100, which includes two front row cabaret seats, and a bottle of champagne.

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