There are surely more relaxing ways to spend one's golden years than embarking on a national tour of the musical farce "La Cage Aux Folles," which opens Wednesday in Hollywood, but try telling that to George Hamilton.
The 72-year-old actor, whose credits include "Love at First Bite," the 1980s prime-time soap "Dynasty," "The Godfather Part III" and a stint on "Dancing With the Stars," says he's always up for a challenge.
Looking dapper — and yes, tan — as ever, Hamilton recently spoke with Culture Monster about taking "La Cage" on the road.
How did you get involved with this tour?
I'd done a show for [producers Fran and Barry Weissler], "Chicago," and I liked working on Broadway a lot. I got into ["La Cage Aux Folles"] rather naively because I thought that it would be like Broadway. It's far harder. The Broadway actors say, "I don't know how you do it." And at 72, I don't know how I do it either.
"La Cage" has been adapted many times and in different formats. How do you make it your own?
I think that one has to be careful to not try to be anyone else. The trick is to be authentic in it, and that is the hardest part.
How do you approach the role of Georges?
It's not the flashy role — the other role [Albin] is the flashy role. So you have to get a real good sense of humility. It's like being a great caddy: You put the ball down for the golfer and he hits it.
Do you ever get jealous of your costar Christopher Sieber's big numbers as Albin?
Yeah, yeah. I'm jealous from the moment I walked into the theater. I thought, is it worth getting in drag to do that? Yeah, sure it is. I did "Zorro the Gay Blade."
How many shows have you done so far?
I think about 250. We've played Chicago, Boston, North Carolina, Dallas, Houston, Orlando.... It's almost like if you can get more than 12 people together, I'll come to your house.
Do you have a favorite moment in the show?
Yeah, just when you come out at the end and they're applauding, and everyone's standing — that's my favorite moment. It never gets old.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times