Theatre Works USA's PETE THE CAT Returns To The MAC

Following three sold-out shows in the 2017-18 season, Theatreworks USA's "Pete the Cat" is back. Based on the popular books by James Dean and Eric Litwin, this family-friendly musical comes to the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. This hour-long play is recommended for ages 3 and up.

When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners - and boy, are they square! But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up, so the minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking... except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet earth. As the end of second grade approaches, Jimmy has a lot of tests, and the last thing he needs is some groovy cat in his life, changing his family and turning everything upside down. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to help Jimmy conquer second grade art, and along the way, they both learn a little something new about inspiration.

Theatreworks USA's "Pete the Cat" features book and lyrics by Sarah Hammond (winner of the Lippmann Family "New Frontier" Award) and music by Will Aronson ("ASCAP Frederick Loewe Award, Baryshnikov Fellowship, winner of Best Score at the 2012 Korea Musical Awards). The show features direction/choreography by Kevin Zak, with associated direction/choreography by Glen Giron; scenic design by Rob Odorisio, costume design by Jen Caprio, music direction by Christopher McGovern, and orchestrations by Frank Galgano and Matt Castle. Stage manager is Jessica Kidwell. The cast includes Ty Rood (Dad), Kyle Price (Jimmy), Kelsey Martin (Mom), Madeline Falco (Olive) and Kyle Becker (Pete).

The "Pete the Cat" book series began as collaboration between James Dean (creator/ illustrator) and Eric Litwin (author) with "Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes." The book was self-published in 2008, with a CD audio recording, and published by HarperCollins in 2010. Dean and Litwin created three more works in the series: "Rocking in My School Shoes," "Four Groovy Buttons" and "Pete the Cat Saves Christmas." In 2014, Dean and Litwin parted ways and subsequent books in the "Pet the Cat" series have been written by illustrator Dean or by the husband-and-wife team James and Kimberly Dean. In addition to being the original author of the "Pete the Cat" series, Eric Litwin is the author of "The Nuts and Groovy Joe." His books have sold more than 8.5 million copies, been translated into 13 languages, and won 18 literacy awards including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award.

Theatreworks USA is America's largest and most prolific professional not-for-profit theatre for young and family audiences. Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has enlightened, entertained, and instructed more than 72 million people in 49 states and Canada, now performing for about four million people annually. Every year, the company tours approximately 16 shows from its ever-growing repertoire of 115 plays and musicals. In addition, Theatreworks USA also has an extensive multi-cultural guest artist roster, including storytellers, puppeteers, poets, and magicians. Under the direction of Barbara Pasternack (Artistic Director) and Ken Arthur (Managing Director), Theatreworks USA is also one of the most honored theaters of its kind. It is the only children's theatre to receive both a Drama Desk and a Lucille Lortel Award. In addition, Theatreworks USA was the recipient of a 2001 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, and in May 2000, The Actors Fund of American bestowed its Medal of Honor upon its founders, Jay Harnick and Charles Hull.

Tickets: McAninch Arts Center (MAC) located at 425 Fawell Blvd. on the campus of College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn presents Theatreworks USA's "Pete the Cat" Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $14 for youth; $20 for adults. For tickets or more information visit AtTheMAC.org or call the MAC Box Office at 630.942.4000. Tickets for the daytime performance on Friday, Nov. 9 at 9:45 and 11:30 a.m. are $8 and may be purchased calling 630.942.2220 or emailing sarther@cod.edu. Individuals, home schools and groups of any size are welcome, based on availability.

The McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355. It houses three indoor performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 236-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), the outdoor Lakeside Pavilion, the Cleve Carney Art Gallery and classrooms for the college's academic programming. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 100,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season. The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. Visit AtTheMAC.org or facebook.com/AtTheMAC for more information.

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