An Evening at La Cage–The brainchild of Lou Paciocco

Lou was born and raised in the ghettos of New York. Born in Italian Harlem he moved to the Jewish ghettos–the Bronx at age 11. In his late teens he worked as a dance instructor and featured dancer in the nightclub circuit of Miami Beach. After being drafted into the Army Lou served for 2 years then returned to New York and joined his uncle in the real estate business and went on to incredible success. His natural entrepreneurial talent was eventually combined with his first love, “Entertainment” on a rainy day in New York City. On this fateful Saturday Lou’s life was changed forever when he ducked into a movie Theatre on 3rd Avenue to seek shelter, and, saw the French film La Cage aux Folles! Soon after this Lou opened his restaurant nightclub aptly named “La Cage Aux Folles” on 63rd Street in New York City. The featured impersonation revue and nightclub was an instant smash hit, people lined up nightly to get in and such greats as Ethel Merman and Rock Hudson quickly became regulars.

Next stop Hollywood. April 18th, 1981 marked the outrageous opening of La Cage Aux Folles in West Hollywood. The critics, the public and the who’s who of Hollywood all fell in love with La Cage and its inimitable keeper Lou Paciocco. The very stars Lou had dreamt of as a child were now regular patrons and fans of La Cage. The next thing Lou knew it was as though the floodgates had opened, offers to open La Cage around the world were coming in left, right, and center. As a matter of fact Lou’s La Cage aux Folles was well established for three years prior to the Broadway Musical ever being done. And, Alan Carr the producer of the eventual Broadway show had been to both Lou’s New York and LA clubs–having more recently frequented the LA show for an entire week and taking Gypsy the star of Lou’s show off to New York with him. Gene Barry who went on to be the star of the Broadway musical came to Lou’s club for makeup lessons from one of the impersonators, after all who knew makeup better! As they say, the rest is history.

During this incredible growth period for La Cage, Lou met a young and talented choreographer from Canada, Mande Dagenais and they teamed up and continued to produce road shows of La Cage around the world, including Guam, Taiwan, Europe, Canada, Sint Maarten, Hawaii, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. 

Over time La Cage became the first ever show to have a ten-year-run in Atlantic City and twenty-four remarkable years in Las Vegas making it the fourth longest running show on the strip. The attention that La Cage was getting was enormous with features on Geraldo, Oprah, Johnny Carson and a list far too long to mention, including a one off TV hit with “Mr Television” himself–Milton Berle, entitled Milton Berle Invites You to A Night at La Cage

It can truly be said that Lou’s dream became a reality and his show is recognized and loved around the world. As recognition of Mande Dagenais' contribution to the many shows they produced together and for her creative input as Director and Choreographer, Lou granted her the perpetual rights to continue producing his show An Evening at La Cage. And of course Lou continues to provide invaluable support in keeping the shows up to the standard he set from day one!


"La Cage Aux Folles brings the house down at Maho"

Copyright © 2012 Mande Dagenais (Productions). All Rights Reserved.