NEPA Scene Staff

‘La Cage aux Folles,’ the musical comedy remade as ‘The Birdcage,’ runs in Swoyersville Sept. 9-25

‘La Cage aux Folles,’ the musical comedy remade as ‘The Birdcage,’ runs in Swoyersville Sept. 9-25
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From a press release:

The Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville will present the Tony Award-winning musical comedy “La Cage aux Folles” beginning Sept. 9 and running through Sept. 25.

The show, at its core, is an old-fashioned Jerry Herman musical – think “Mame” and “Hello, Dolly!” – with a twist, said T. Doyle Leverett, the show’s director and one of the founding members of the Music Box Dinner Playhouse (196 Hughes St., Swoyersville).

“La Cage aux Folles” centers around the comedic chaos that occurs when the son of a gay couple brings his fiancée’s uber-conservative parents home for a visit.

“Folks will see a rollicking comedy, filled with great music and the best choreography seen in these parts for year,” Leverett said. “La Cage” is also the musical on which the 1996 film “The Birdcage,” starring Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, and Nathan Lane, is based.

“Bernie Vojtko’s dances are breathtaking. There’s also a lot of beautiful dresses and a stunning Michael Gallagher set.”

Fans of local theatre are likely to recognize Vojtko and Gallagher, the latter of whom is also a founding member of the Swoyersville playhouse. Larry Votjko, who serves as the show’s musical director, joins them.

Yet another familiar face is Kevin Costley, who plays Albin/Zaza in the show. Like Leverett and Gallagher, Costley helped establish the Music Box 35 years ago. Costley returns to Music Box to play one of his “bucket list” roles after a several year hiatus.

“My favorite thing about doing Albin/Zaza is the fact that I thought I would never be able to do it,” Costley said. “’La Cage’ is a challenging show, and I wasn’t sure a local theatre would take the challenge.

“Getting this chance, particularly as my ‘comeback role,’ is like an unexpected gift, and to join such a talented cast and production staff makes it a special treat.”

For Leverett, the connection to show is quite personal.

“’La Cage’ has flolated in and out of my life since 1986 in a variety of ways,” Leverett said. “Also, after touring with [“Fiddler on the Roof]” for 1 and a half years with Harvey Fierstein, the author, I fell in love with the show all over again.

“It’s really a tour of Harvey’s big heart. I can hear him and feel him in every line, so I had been looking for a chance to direct it.”

Leverett estimates he has directed roughly 25 productions at the Music Box.

“La Cage aux Folles” opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9 and continues on Sept. 10, 16, 17, 23, and 24. Special Sunday matinee performances will be held at 3 p.m. on Sept. 11, 18, and 25. For all shows, audience members have the option of purchasing a dinner and show ticket or a “show only” ticket.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the meal begins at 6:30 p.m.; for matinees, doors open at 1 p.m., with the meal beginning at 1:30 p.m. Dinner tickets must be purchased in advance.

Show only tickets for “La Cage aux Folles” are $18. Buffet dinner and show tickets are $35. Both can be purchased by calling the Music Box box office at 570-283-2195. Additional ticket information is available at