Give our regards to Broadway, but Minnesotans can stay closer to home to see some of New York City's biggest hits.

"La Cage Aux Folles" recently kicked off the Broadway-in-Minneapolis season with a special connection: Forest Lake High School graduate Christopher Sieber took to the stage as Albin, one of the show's leads.

"It doesn't get better than seeing your name on the marquee," Sieber said at the opening night cast party at Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen.

Sieber had performed in the show on Broadway, but there was something special about his debut at the State Theatre.

"I got a little choked up at the curtain call -- I hadn't performed at a hometown crowd like this before," he said. "With the Pantages, the State, you have your own little Broadway."

In addition to "La Cage Aux Folles," the Minneapolis season will include touring productions of "Les Misérables," "The Lion King," "American Idiot" and "Million Dollar Quartet." Hennepin Theatre Trust President Tom Hoch said he is thrilled about the lineup and the location.

"It's better than Broadway," he said. "It's better than coming to New York, because we've got great restaurants and you know where they are. New York has nothing on us in that regard."

He's especially looking forward to the return of "The Lion King," which had its pre-Broadway run at the State Theatre in 1997.

"New York has a few more bright lights, but that's something we're working on," Hoch said.

Watch out, Great White Way.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177