"I Am What I Am," from La Cage aux Folles is made for all of us weirdos and freaks out there - those of us that were laughed at, bullied, and forced to hide our true selves. It's our fuck you to the world.
I'll be honest - and will accept the punishments and possible loss of points on my gay card - but I do not know La Cage very well. Most of the shows I have pulled songs from for these sing-off are from shows I discovered at a young age. But a show like La Cage never made it to Kennett, MO - not that any show did. Besides my high school's production of classics, I never knew such stage shows existed.
It wasn't until high school that the mother of one of my best friends starting sending me to see real productions in Memphis, TN. But even then, Cats and the Lion King were the usuals to expect.
But when it came time to see RENT (which actually happened after my freshman year of college), I watched more and more people leaving throughout the show. That should give you some idea of what I was dealing with.
The first time I heard "I Am What I Am" was at an amateur drag show in college - but having never heard it, I didn't even know it was a show-tune. It wasn't until my mom bought me the best of the Tonys that I saw the performance of this song, and learned that The Birdcage was more than just a movie (I would have loved to see Robin Williams and Nathan Lane do a musical version).
For some reason I have never latched on to the show - so I still need an education beyond wikipedia. But it is good to still have unknowns out there to explore.
As usual, check out the clips after the jump and let me know who you think did it best. If I left anyone out, give us the link in the comments. Educate me.
Let the sing-off begin after the jump.