Leading up to The Kelsey Awards on Saturday, July 25th, we will be highlighting the five musicals nominated for Outstanding Production of a Musical. Today, we’ll take a glance at Playful Theatre Production’s CATS.
CATS, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s magical musical homage to the feline world, came to Kelsey Theatre this past spring. Nominated for multiple Kelsey Awards, and a winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, CATS ran on Broadway for 18 years, totaling 7,485 performances. Playful Theatre Productions gathered a talented, spirited cast of actors for this extraordinarily popular show, which is based on T.S. Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems in “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” in 1939.
The Kelsey stage transformed into a trash-strewn alley populated by the “Jellicle” tribe – the narrator Munkustrap, the wise leader Old Deuteronomy, the playful prankster Rum Tum Tugger, the shunned Grizabella (The Glamour Cat), the hefty Bustopher Jones, and many more. Expressing themselves in imaginative dance and magnificent music and lyrics, the cats crooned their way into fans’ hearts with unforgettable songs, most famously the blockbuster hit “Memory.”
The cast featured Kaitlyn Anthony of Bordentown as Victoria; Noah Barson of Richboro, Pa., as Macavity/Rumpus Cat; Kyle Blocker of New Brunswick as Rum Tum Tugger; John Boccanfuso of Yardville as Alonzo; Reise Bridgers of Hamilton as Victor; Tia Brown of Lawrenceville as Bombalurina; Emily Cobb of Ivyland, Pa., as Coricopat; Jaci D’Ulisse of Trenton as Electra; Devyn Fox of Yardley, Pa., as Rumpleteazer; Shannon Garahan of East Brunswick as Jellylorum; Wyatt Kim of Yardley, Pa., as Carbucketty; Jaimie McMillin of Bordentown as Grizabella; Michael O’Hara of Yardley, Pa., as Bill Bailey; Emily Christine O’Sullivan of Hamilton as Cassandra; Trina Mar of Croydon, Pa., as Admetus; Miriam Payne of Audubon as Jemima; Nicholas Pecht of Hamilton as Bustopher Jones/Gus; James Petro of Hamilton as Munkustrap; Sasha Saco of Philadelphia, Pa., as Jennyanydots; Tom Sawyer of Yardley, Pa., as Tom Skimbleshanks; Kate Skelly of Bordentown as Etcetra; Colleen McMahon Skillman of West Windsor as Demeter; Matthew Snyder of Levittown, Pa., as Matthew Mungojerrie Roman Sohor as Parlin as Deuteronomy; Rachel Tovar of Trenton as Tantomile; and Michael Zweig of Philadelphia, Pa., as Mr. Mistoffelees. Pit singers included Heather Corson, Vianna Fagel, Sally Page, Amanda Ramus, Michelle Rittmann, and Michelle Whitescarver.
The production staff included Producer Suzanne Smith, Assistant Producer Hilary Leboff, Director/Choreographer Dani Tucci-Juraga, Music Director Laurie Gougher, Master Builder James Petro, Lighting Designer Robert Terrano, Associate Lighting Designer Star McCloud, Sound Designer Evan Paine, Assistant Lighting Designer Eric Collin, Light Board Operator Chris Neilsen, Wigs by Donna Reed, Makeup Designer Koren Zander, Costumers Kate Pinner and Michelle Rittmann, and Stage Managers Nancy Russell and Ruth Kresge.
2015 KELSEY AWARD NOMINATIONS
- Outstanding Sound Design
- Outstanding Lighting Design
- Outstanding Costume & Make-up Design
- Outstanding Set & Scenic Design
- Outstanding Choreography
- Outstanding Vocal & Music Direction
- Outstanding Direction of a Musical
- Singer of the Year (Jaimie McMillin as “Grizabella”)
- Outstanding Musical Number (“Jellicle Ball”)
- Villain of the Year (Noah Barson as “McCavity/Rumpus Cat”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical (Tia Brown as “Bombalurina”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical (Michael Zweig as “Mr. Mistoffeles”)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical (Jaimie McMillin as “Grizabella”)
- Outstanding Production of a Musical