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Friday, December 19, 2014

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'Cats' the musical dances into town

Updated 11:37 am, Monday, March 31, 2014

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  • Caitlyn Lalli offers a powerful rendition of "Memory" in her role as Grizabella the Glamour Cat during rehearsal for New Milford High School's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, "Cats." March 17, 2014 Photo: Norm Cummings / The News-Times
    Caitlyn Lalli offers a powerful rendition of "Memory" in her role as Grizabella the Glamour Cat during rehearsal for New Milford High School's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, "Cats." March 17, 2014 Photo: Norm Cummings

 

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"Cats" makes its area stage debut Friday, March 21 at New Milford High School for the first of six presentations of this year's all-school musical production.

The original 1982 Broadway production ran for 18 years, featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and choreography by Gillian Lynne.

The lyrics are based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats."

Evening performances will be offered March 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. in the NMHS theater.

Matinees will be presented March 23 at 3 p.m. and March 29 at 2 p.m.

All seating at $10 per person is reserved.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the high school box office Mondays through Fridays from 2:15 to 4 p.m. and Mondays through Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The show is somewhat a departure from many of the plays veteran NMHS musical director Bob Keck has staged, always to positive response from the NMHS family and community patrons.

"I've always loved the music for "Cats," he explained, "and we've never done a Lloyd Webber show."

"I felt like we had the dancers, courtesy of all the dance studios in the area," Keck added, "and we've reached a level of lighting and scenery sophistication that we could handle this show."

As the opening curtain approaches, the NMHS theater's main man was confident "Cats" would be a success.

"It's been a different experience from anything we've ever done," he admitted. "The entire show is production dance numbers and there is almost no acting. So we've had to rethink our rehearsals quite a bit."

A talented cast features Andrew McGuire as Rum Tum Tugger; Tommy Ovitt as Munkustrap; Nick Ferlow as Mungojerrie; Tony Harkin as Mr. Mistoffeles; John Vasquez in roles as Bustopher Jones, Gus and Growltiger ; Kellan Ness as Skimbleshanks; Matt McNally as Old Deuteronomy; Logan Doud as Macavity and the Rumpus Cat; Caitlyn Lalli as Grizabella; Jaclyn Mercer as Bombalurina; Becca Myhil as Jellylorum; Abby Myhill as Demeter; Jessica Bowe as Griddlebone; Tess Harkin as Jennyanydots; Eliza Alemony as Rumpleteazer; Emma Nissenbaum as Jemima; Arielle Zambello as Victoria; and Jennifer Kast as Elizabeth.

The cast also includes Kara Burger, Sabriya Caceres, Jordan Fox, Alyssa Law, Katie Schaffer, Anna Wright, Jack Day, Sean Lavery, Kevin McNulty, Kay Mickelson, Jack O'Marra, Danny Tarantino,Michaela Ferlow, Cassie Ferrante, Amber Levine, Matt Olencki, Katie Sheehan, Claire Brofford, Evan Brofford, Cara Bruno, Alec Fox, Victoria Meskill and Courtney Savino.

Singing chorus are David Carlson, Jordan Cowan, Ally Del Monte, Rachel Fugardi, Annie Hall, Josie Harding and Jami Valzania.

Bob Keck directs the show, which is produced by Steve Donahue.

Debbie McGuire has created the choreography, assisted by Samantha McGuire.

NMHS band director Dave Syzdek conducts the student pit orchestra.

Stage managers are Samantha Quinn, Marta Gryb and Sarah Coshal.

For more Spectrum photos, see updates at www.new milfordspectrum.com.

To link the musical's Facebook page, use https://www.facebook.com/NMHSAllSchoolMusical.

Norm Cummings

Photography by Norm Cummings