“Cats” Begins 2015-2016 College Theatre Season

By: Lisa S. Icenogle

Director Promises Story that “People will Love and Learn From”

“Cats,” one of Broadway’s longest running and most celebrated musicals, is coming to the Gertrude Krampert Center for Theatre and Dance with an eight-performance run beginning Wednesday, Oct. 14 and ending on Sunday, Oct. 25.

With music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who based his musical on the works of poet T.S. Eliot, “Cats” tells the story of one night in the life of a tribe of cats, “the Jellicles” and their “Jellicle Ball” where each cat presents its story in song and dance. At the end of the night one of the cats is chosen to go to the “Heaviside Layer,” which allows that cat to return to a new life. Director James Olm notes that “since auditions in August our cast of cats has been working on this notion of ‘cat-human-beings’ and have embraced cat characteristics early on to the point where all of them have unique, loving, and sometimes hating personalities.”

“Cats” premiered in London in May of 1981 and then on Broadway in October of 1982. The musical eventually closed on Broadway after a record, for the time, of 7,485 performances on September 10, 2000. In 1983, the musical snagged seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. “’Cats’ is innately entertaining. It’s funny, incredibly energetic, musically romping, and visually marvelous. It really taps into our imaginative side in a way that allows us to transport ourselves into an entirely different world, and then accept that world as a mirror of our own,” says Olm, adding “While being in the world of ‘Cats’ we’re still learning from that world and applying it to our own world and lives. Our production of ‘Cats’ takes that idea to a whole new level – and that should excite people. It’s not the usual ‘Broadway Show’ rendition. We’re telling a story that people will love and learn from.”

The musical is populated with a variety of felines including Old Deuteronomy, Mr. Mistoffelees, Munkustrap, Jennyanydots, and Grizabella who performs the show’s hit song “Memory.” “Each (cat) has their own unique character, which makes it really fun to get to know them. So suddenly, everyone cares about them, roots for them, and then cries or cheers for them as the story ends. Audiences will just have to come to this production to truly find out which way they’ll be feeling once they leave,” Olm says.

“Cats” will run October 14-16 and 21-24 at 7:30 p.m. and on October 25 at 2 p.m. on the McMurry MainStage. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students 5-18 and can be purchased online at caspercollege.edu/theatre, at the box office between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, by phone at 307-268-2500, or one hour before each performance, for that performance only.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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