GSE fundraiser planned for Friday June 2 at Axelrod PAC in Deal Park

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”A gaggle of drag queens are taking over the Axelrod Performing Arts Center for Gay Pride month. La Cage Aux Folles will be performed from the film The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. The musical opens on Friday, June 2, at 8pm to kick off New Jersey’s 26th Annual Gay Pride weekend. That weekend over 20,000 LBGTs are expected in Asbury Park for the weekend. APAC is just five minutes from downtown Asbury Park.

The show that evening will benefit Garden State Equality. APAC is hosting an opening night reception in the theatre lobby with pink martinis by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and rosé Bolla by Banfi Winery plus hors’ doeuvres starting at 7pm.

The musical features a score by Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!) which includes the gay national anthem “I Am What I Am” and a hilarious book by Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, and  Kinky Boots).

As Robin Williams said in The Birdcage, “look, this may be a drag show, but it still has to be a good drag show, if possible a great drag show.” The APAC cast includes eight stunning drag performers as the fabulous Cagelles with actual singing and dancing.

The show stars Broadway vetertan Nat Chandler (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Phantom of the Opera) as Geroges and one of the Jersey Shore’s most sought-after singers Joe Necci. Nat Chandler is making his Jersey Shore debut, having been seen on Broadway and in regional theaters around the country.

A $55 donation includes the reception and a premium ticket for the opening night performance of the show. Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be matching donations dollar for dollar.

This event is co-hosted by Cabaret for Life, Inc., the nonprofit arts organization that has been supported local HIV/AIDS and other charities in NJ since 1995. La Cage aux Folles is being produced by Andrew DePrisco and Jess Levy, directed by Kathryn Markey and choreographed by Todd Labron Underwood, with musical direction by Joseph Elefante, leading an on-stage band.

La Cage aux Folles plays June 2, 3, 8, 10, 15 at 8pm, and June 4, 11, 18 at 3pm at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center (100 Grant Ave, Deal Park section of Ocean Township, NJ). Tickets range from $31 to $36.

For online purchases, visit axelrodartscenter.com. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10-3pm or call 732-531-9106, ext. 14. The theater offers ample free onsite parking and is completely handicap accessible. Group discounts available for parties of ten or more.

AT A GLANCE

WHERE: Axelrod Performing Arts Center (100 Grant Ave, Deal Park, NJ)

WHEN: 7 PM, June 2, 2017

WHAT: Opening Night of La Cage aux Folles

WHY: Reception to benefit Garden State Equality

HOW MUCH: $55 (includes reception and show); regular tickets from $31 to $36