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Cabrillo Music Theatre End Its 2008-09 Season With CATS! Opens 7/24

Cabrillo Music Theatre concludes its 2008-2009 season with the most memorable musical of all, CATS! Directed and choreographed by original Broadway cast member, Ovation Award-winner Dana Solimando, Cabrillo's CATS marks the first time that the seven-time Tony Award winner has been produced exclusively for the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Joining Solimando on the creative staff is Music Director Ilana Eden, and the production will be overseen by CMT Artistic Director Lewis Wilkenfeld. CATS will open on Friday, July 24th, 2009 and run through Sunday, August 2nd, for Cabrillo Music Theatre in the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.

Set in a junkyard, the tribe of Jellicle Cats emerge from the darkened landscape of broken bottles and boxes. Taking in the audience, they celebrate on this, their one special night of the year, in a fusion of song and dance. Based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," by T.S. Eliot, and set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA), CATS launched the hit song, "Memory," plus "The Rum Tum Tugger," "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer," and "The Jellicle Ball."

"CATS is THE one our audiences have been asking for, time and time again. We're thrilled to grant their wish!" says Carole W. Nussbaum, Cabrillo Music Theatre's President and Chief Executive Officer. "It ran for 18 years on Broadway, and is the longest running tour in American Theatre History. And our production is not a tour. As with all our shows, we audition, produce, perform and produce the entire show, uniquely for Southern California audiences."
Cabrillo Music Theatre's production features Melissa Lyons, ("Eponine" in the Broadway National Tour of LES MISERABLES,) plus Will North, Jo Patrick, and nineteen more of Southern California's finest singer-dancers. Dazzling to the eyes and ears, CATS is the "purr-fect" musical for the entire family, and is recommended for all audiences.

As part of its OUTREACH programs, Cabrillo Music Theatre is expanding its OUTREACH mission to include another in-need group -homeless, abused, and abandoned dogs and cats. The Animal Rescue Program is devoted to increasing awareness for rescue missions that serve them. At its production of CATS, Cabrillo Music Theatre will designate a portion of proceeds from sale of merchandise to groups that serve these animals. Also, patrons who adopt an animal during the run of CATS will receive two complimentary orchestra tickets for an upcoming show.

Dana Solimando (Director/Choreographer) made her Broadway debut in Cats at the Winter Garden Theatre as Rumpleteazer and is excited to be a part of the show once more. Other director/choreography credits include various productions of SWING! (2004 & 2006 Ovation Awards), Crystal Cruise Lines ROUTE 66, Too Old For the Chorus, Jesus Christ Superstar starring the late Carl Anderson (NAACP Theatre Award Nomination-Best Choreography) & Oliver! Also a performer, Dana played Tiger Lily on the Broadway A&E Video production of Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, as well as numerous other Broadway Nat'l tours & regional productions: SWING! Sugar Babies, Grease, Oklahoma, Gypsy, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, J.C.Superstar, A Chorus Line ...TV Credits: VH-1, MTV, The Today Show & General Hospital. Dana also enjoys molding young minds as a teacher for the University of California Irvine.

Melissa Lyons (Grizabella) returns to Cabrillo Music Theatre, where she performed the title role in their production of Peter Pan. A native of Southern California, Melissa holds a B.A. in music from UCLA and is a proud member of Musical Theatre Guild. Most notably, Melissa was the final Eponine in the Broadway Touring Company of Les Miserables. She has recorded numerous voice-overs for Mattel and is the singing voice of Barbie for several films, toys, albums and commercials, including the recently released animated features "Barbie and the Diamond Castle," "Barbie in A Christmas Carol" and "Barbie as the Island Princess." Most recently she was seen in The Water at the Colony Theatre, and in the concert "Rated RSO: The Music and Lyrics of Ryan Scott Oliver" at Boston Court. Some of her other credits include Drood in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (MTG), Alisande in A Connecticut Yankee (MTG), The Marvelous Wonderette (El Portal), Star-To-Be in Annie (Music Circus and McCoy/Rigby), Lady Larken in Once Upon A Mattress (UCLA, dir. Carol Burnett) and the television show "Passions."

CATS will open on Friday, July 24th, 2009 and run through Sunday, August 2nd. Performances are Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm. A special mid-week performance has been added on Wednesday, July 29th, at 11:00AM. A post-show discussion with cast, staff and audience will follow the Saturday, July 25th, 2:00pm performance. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks or through any Ticketmaster location or by phone (805) 583-8700. For groups of 12 or more, please call Group Sales, Cabrillo Music Theatre at (805) 497-8615. Ticket prices range from $38 - $74. For ticket and theatre information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787).

CABRILLO MUSIC THEATRE is located at the Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.

Cabrillo Music Theatre is the Ovation Award-winning Resident Musical Theatre Production Company at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and a non-profit theatre organization. For over three decades, Cabrillo has been enriching the cultural life of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and the surrounding areas by providing an extraordinary performing arts experience through live, Broadway-quality productions of musical theatre. It is Cabrillo's mission to provide the highest quality musical experience, to foster educational opportunities, and to promote cultural and artistic enrichment to enhance the quality of life in Southern California. To this end, Cabrillo Music Theatre has established the Adopt-A-School, ADOPT-A-SENIOR, PET (Project Entertainment Troops) OUTREACH programs. During the production of CATS, Cabrillo has added an Animal Rescue Program. Since the inceptions of these programs, thousands of underserved children, in need seniors, and active military have enjoyed Cabrillo Music Theatre's productions at no charge. With the ADOPT-A-SCHOOL, ADOPT-A-SENIOR, and PET programs, Cabrillo makes live theatre accessible to children, seniors, and active military members who otherwise may never have the opportunity to experience a live musical theatre performance. For more information about Cabrillo Music Theatre and its OUTREACH programs, contact Carole W. Nussbaum, President/Chief Executive Officer at (805) 497-8613.


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