November 30, 2009 / 11:52 PM / 9 years ago

Kelsey Grammer to make Broadway musical debut

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Emmy award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer will make his Broadway musical debut in April playing the gay owner of a transvestite club in the revival of “La Cage aux Folles,” publicists said on Monday.

Grammer, known best for playing Dr. Frasier Crane for some 20 years on the TV comedies “Cheers” and its spin-off, “Frasier”, had recently starred in and produced the TV comedy “Hank”, which was canceled earlier this month after less than one season.

“I had a wonderful experience playing Henry Higgins in the New York Philharmonic “My Fair Lady” in 2007, which made me long to perform in a musical on Broadway,” Grammer said in a statement.

Grammer, 54, is set to play Georges, the emcee and owner of a St. Tropez nightclub that boasts drag queen headliner Zaza, George’s flamboyant lover. Hijinks ensue when George’s son introduces them to his fiance’s conservative parents.

“La Cage aux Folles” is based on a 1973 French play. A 1983 Broadway musical comedy, based on a 1978 film adaptation, played for more than four years and won six Tony awards.

Grammer acted in Shakespeare plays in New York’s Broadway theater district in the 1980s and in 2000, when he starred in “Macbeth”. It closed early following lukewarm reviews.

His singing can be heard in some of his animated projects, such as “The Simpsons” and the 1997 film “Anastasia”.

Grammer follows several celebrities who have contracted the Broadway bug. “James Bond” actor Daniel Craig and “X-Men”‘s “Wolverine”, Hugh Jackman, are starring in the play “A Steady Rain”, and “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini headed the cast earlier this year of “God of Carnage.”

Reporting by Corinne Heller: Editing by Jill Serjeant

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