Monday, July 15, 2024

San Jose’s La Cage welcomes a 32-faced star

Versatile entertainer Alan Palmer is back with a new West Coast show.

Alan Palmer is more than two-faced. Actually, some would say he’s 32-faced as he has had some very popular one-person shows in which he plays multiple divas in one production.

He doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight as well, having acted in many ensemble pieces. Palmer is no stranger to the Bay Area. Several years ago, his multi-character “Fabulous Divas of Hollywood” played to great acclaim to the defunct Retro Dome.

alan palmer live
Alan Palmer

Then, he brought his The Final, Final Farewell Tour of Dick and Delores DelRubio to a new venue, started by the talented Guggenheim family, who produced shows at the Retro Dome.

Palmer is back! This is the first time he’s actually working directly with the Guggenheims, even though he’s used their venues in the past.
Opening April 2, Palmer will not only star as Albin in San Jose Playhouse’s production of La Cage aux Folles, but he is also the choreographer.
The Playhouse is part of 3Below Theaters, the Guggenheim family’s productions, where they put on Broadway-level shows as well as some smaller-scaled shows and cabaret performances at 3 Below.

For his involvement with La Cage, it wasn’t his previous work at the Retro Dome that caught the eye of the Guggenheim family. “I was opening my new musical Chanteuse at Richmond Triangle Players in VA,” Palmer says. He mentioned that at the same time they were looking for an Albin and said, “we need someone that is like Alan.” 

Ultimately they thought, “Why don’t we ASK Alan?” “I was over the moon excited to be part of this show, but mostly excited to work with them. They have always been such kind, energetic, creative people who always put on top-notch entertainment!”

“I am overjoyed to play Albin whose alias is Zaza! He is such a beautiful soul! I have loved being in the skin of dear Albin! We have many similarities. We both are performers, both have children, both would do anything for their husband and children and both come from a pure heart. The difference between the two of us might be the bigger than life affectations. At least I hope we differ!”

Palmer has played some really great roles including Frank-n-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. But  another favorite was the musical Lovelace with Katrina Lenk before she won her Tony Award. “That one had music by Charlotte Caffey from the GoGo’s,” he says.Palmer’s one-person divas shows may have been on the shelf through the pandemic but promises a third one in his trilogy entitled “Fabulous Divas of Television.”

La Cage aux Folles

Besides the pandemic, the loss of his costumer designer and friend Curtis has delayed him moving forward and Palmer admits he’s been  “in a slump without his infectious laughter and brilliant spin on costumes.”

Palmer is very excited about his time in the Bay Area and to is looking ahead to bringing more shows to the stage, including Chanteuse — where he’s trying to get that to London or New York in 2023.  

But for now his focus is on La Cage. “I can’t think of a better show to perform right after this long lockdown. The sets and costumes are flashy and fabulous! A great cast,  director and musical director” make this something he is excited about doing.

To get tickets and information about the show, that runs through April 24, go to

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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