Theatreworks USA to Premiere PETE THE CAT Musical Off-Broadway This Summer

Theatreworks USA to Premiere PETE THE CAT Musical Off-Broadway This Summer

This summer, Theatreworks USA, the nation's leading not-for-profit professional theatre for young audiences, will present the Off-Broadway Premiere of the new musical PETE THE CAT. It will begin performances on July 19 and run through August 18, with its benefit opening on July 25 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets).

When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn some 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. The whole family, that is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized, uptight second grader on planet earth. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Join Jimmy and Pete as they set off on an adventure in Pete's VW Bus to find inspiration, Magic Sunglasses, and friendship!

Tony-nominated Dan Knechtges will direct PETE THE CAT which features book and lyrics by Sarah Hammond and music by Will Aronson and is based on the popular series by Kimberly and James Dean.

The cast includes Adante Carter (NY: Sweetee), Matt Dengler (Broadway: The Visit, A Little Night Music), Brandi Porter (Regional: Little Shop of Horrors), Kyle Sherman (Regional: City of Angles), and Sam Tedaldi (NY: Searching for Romeo).

The creative team includes scenic design by Rob Odorisio, costume design by Jennifer Caprio, orchestrations by Frank Galgano and Matt Castle, casting by Jason Blitman, the associate director is Zi Alikhan and production stage manager is Philip B. Richard II.

Watch a preview for the show below!


Launched in 1989, the mission of Theatreworks USA's Free Summer Theatre Program is to provide New York City youth with their own theatre tradition that not only entertains but also educates and fosters positive values and an appreciation for theatre. This summer 15,000 FREE tickets will be distributed to PETE THE CAT.

Performances begin Wednesday, July 19th at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street). Opening Night and the Annual Opening Night Benefit is set for Wednesday, July 25th (6:30 PM). This limited engagement runs through August 18th. Educational and not-for-profit group reservations can be made by calling 212/627-7373 beginning mid-May.

Tickets for PETE THE CAT are FREE and are available on a first-come, first-served basis in-person at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Box Office (121 Christopher Street) on the day of the performance. Tickets for each day's performances will be distributed beginning one hour prior to the first performance of the day. There is a limit of four (4) tickets per adult per day. Individual tickets are extremely limited for the weekday daytime performances.

Please note: Reservations cannot be made by the general public. Only reservations from not-for-profit and educational organizations are accepted. Strollers are not allowed in the theater; no babies in arms. Please be considerate of fellow audience members. No food or drink is allowed inside the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

WANT TO SEE THE SHOW BUT DON'T WANT TO WAIT IN LINE? VIP Members can get reserved seats by becoming a Donor to Theatreworks USA. All donations are tax-deductible and go directly to offset program costs. For every $50 you donate, you are entitled to either one reserved Adult VIP s or one reserved Child VIP ticket for the performance of your choice. Limit 10 tickets per donor. VIP reservations, including weekend performances, must be received no later than 12pm on Friday each week. For more information on becoming a Donor and supporting free theatre for youth, call 212/647-1100, ext. 131 or e-mail development@twusa.org. All sales final.

Theatreworks USA is America's foremost professional theatre for young and family audiences. Theatreworks USA's mission is to create imaginative and sophisticated shows that are educational, entertaining, and thought provoking, and to ensure that these shows are accessible to audiences across America regardless of geography and socio-economic status. Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has reached over 93 million people in 49 states and Canada, and the company now performs for about three million young people annually. Every year, the company tours approximately ten shows from its ever-growing repertoire of 133 plays and musicals. In addition, Theatreworks USA has an extensive guest artist roster of multi-cultural storytellers, musicians, puppeteers, magicians and more.

Theatreworks USA's honors include a Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, the William M. Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence given by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and the Medal of Honor from the Actors Fund of America. Past Free Summer Theatre productions at the Lucille Lortel Theatre include Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School, Skippyjon Jones Snow What; The Lightning Thief (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); Skippyjon Jones (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); The Yellow Brick Road (Callaway nominee: Best Choreography); We the People: America Rocks! (Lortel nominee: Best Musical); Click, Clack, Moo (Lortel nominee: Best Musical, Drama Desk nominee: Best Lyrics); and Seussical (Lortel and Drama League nominee: Best Revival of a Musical). Free Summer Theatre is entirely underwritten by charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and public support.

Thanks to the generosity of corporations, foundations, and donors, Theatreworks USA will be able to send over 12,000 underserved youth to the theatre for FREE! A limited number of free tickets will be made available to individuals each show day at the theatre on a first come, first served basis. Tickets for each day's performances will be distributed beginning one hour prior to the first performance of the day. Individuals are limited to 4 tickets per adult, per day

For more information on this show or the other programs offered by Theatreworks USA, visit www.TWUSA.org.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Sarah Hammond (Book and Lyrics) is a playwright and musical theatre writer originally from South Carolina, now based in Brooklyn. Her plays include Green Girl (SPF '08 at the Public); House on Stilts (South Coast Rep Commission); Kudzu (Trustus); and others. Sarah's musicals are String (Rodgers Award, Weston New Musicals Award, NAMT, Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals), Wind-Up Girl (Ars Nova's Uncharted), and Pete the Cat (Theatreworks USA). String will receive its world premiere at Seattle's Village Theatre in 2018. She has been honored to receive a seven-year New Dramatists residency, the Lippman Family "New Frontier" Award, Actors Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award, commissions from Broadway Across America and EST Sloan, and a residency at the Royal National Theatre in London. MFAs: U. Iowa and NYU Musical Theatre Writing.

Will Aronson (Music) has written the scores for Maybe Happy Ending (2017 Richard Rodgers Production Award), Mother, Me & the Monsters (Barrington Stage; Boston Globe Critic's Pick), Bungee Jump (multiple Seoul productions; Best Score, Korean Musical Awards), My Scary Girl (Best Musical, NYMF 2009), The Trouble with Doug (Fredericia Teater), Wind-Up Girl (Ars Nova Uncharted), and Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Günter (NAMT development grant).

Dan Knechtges (Direction/Choreography) is a Tony Nominated director and choreographer working in theater, opera, concert dance, television, film and music videos. Dan's Broadway credits include Lysistrata Jones (Direction & Choreography), Xanadu (directed by Chris Ashley, Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination), Sondheim on Sondheim (directed by James Lapine), 110 in The Shade (starring Audra McDonald) and The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee (directed by James Lapine.) Dan also choreographed the Off-Broadway incarnation of The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee at Second Stage, which earned him a Lucille Lortel Award nomination. Off-Broadway credits include directing the play Tail! Spin! (starring Rachel Dratch), Clinton the musical (starring Kerry Butler & Judy Gold), Merrily We Roll Along for Encores! at City Center (directed by James Lapine), Vanities at Second Stage and directing and choreographing Lysistrata Jones for the Transport Group. He has many regional and international credits as well. Dan's choreography can be seen in the Todd Solondz's movie Palindromes, Dark Horse, "White Collar" on USA Network, The 2011 "TV Land Awards" with Liza Minnelli, and in Fatboy Slim's music video "It's a Wonderful Night," which reached #1 in the U.K. He has also taught acting and dance at numerous institutions and often does master classes all over the country. Dan holds a BFA in musical theatre from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH and hails from Cleveland, OH. He is also a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab and - The Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.

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