CATS and SCHOOL OF ROCK Come to Theatre Under the Stars

Early bird tickets are on sale now through June 19.

By: May. 31, 2024
CATS and SCHOOL OF ROCK Come to Theatre Under the Stars
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Audiences are invited to have a ball and rock out at this summer’s sensational season of Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), which presents CATS and School of Rock, on stage July 5–August 24, 2024, at Stanley Park’s iconic Malkin Bowl. A Vancouver tradition since 1940, TUTS’ early bird tickets are on sale now through June 19.

“As we prepare to welcome audiences back for another summer of unforgettable musical theatre in our majestic outdoor theatre setting, we couldn’t be more excited about staging two iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber masterpieces,” says TUTS General Manager Kevin Woo. “From the show-stopping song and dance numbers in CATS to the high-voltage, fist-pumping rock score in School of Rock, this season promises a rollicking good time–filled with high-flying adventure, hilarious hi-jinks, and passionate expression. Audiences will be rooting for these inspirational characters’ wildest dreams to come true!”

CATS took the theatre world by storm upon its debut in the West End and on Broadway in the early 80’s, winning both the Tony and Olivier Award for Best Musical. It is recognized as one of the longest-running musicals of all time, with more than 15,000 combined performances in London and New York over two decades. Performed entirely in song, CATS relies heavily on dance to tell its story about a tribe of exceptional cats called the Jellicles. They must decide which feline will be selected at their annual Jellicle Ball to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to new life. The musical sensation, based on T.S. Eliot’s whimsical Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, is overflowing with unforgettable songs, including ‘Mr. Mistoffelees,’ ‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat,’ and, the all-time favourite, ‘Memory.’

The CATS creative team, led by director Ashley Wright and choreographer Julie Murphy–who both make their TUTS debut–and returning music director Sean Bayntun (The Prom) will bring a fresh new vision to the TUTS stage this summer, featuring a contemporary urban alley setting and characters clothed in highly stylized costumes befitting of their eclectic personalities.

Featuring a large ensemble cast of local performers, CATS will feature numerous TUTS alums, including Janet Gigliotti as Old Deuteronomy (South Pacific, Bye Bye Birdie, 42nd Street), Colton Bamber as Rum Tum Tugger (Something Rotten!, The Prom), Jaren Guerreiro as Macavity/Plato (Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical), Holly Collis Handford as Skimbleshanks (Cinderella), Jenna Lamb as Rumpleteazer (Cinderella), Haley Allen as Mungojerrie (Newsies, We Will Rock You), Kadia Kindersley as Jellylorum (Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical), Theo Budd as Alonzo (Titanic: A New Musical), and Anna Smith as Pouncival (We Will Rock You). TUTS debuts include Sarah Lane as Grizabella, Tia Gunhold as Victoria, October Penningroth as Mistoffelees, Veronica Phinney as Munkustrap, Isaac Aaron Johnson as Bustopher Jones/Gus, Hailey Fowler as Jennyanydots, Sofi Munson as Demeter, Haily Christie-Hoyle as Jemima, Manuela Palmieri as Bombalurina, Madeleine Petraroia as Admetus, Heather Thwaites as Hysperia, Anthea Lavergne as Cassandra, Viktor Atencia as Quaxo, Elijah Sam as Coricopat, Julia Kelleway as Tantomile, Fiona Jenkins as Electra, and Owen CB Scott as Etcetera.

Based on the hit 2003 film, School of Rock is a high-octane, family-friendly, feel-good show that showcases the strength of coming together and the irrepressible power of rock ‘n roll. Featuring a “rabble-rousing rock score” (The Guardian), School of Rock is a Tony and Olivier-Award-nominated musical that debuted to critical acclaim on Broadway (2015) and in London’s West End (2016), before touring across North America, Australia, Europe, and Japan. The musical follows down-on-his-luck, wannabe rock star, Dewey Finn, who has been kicked out of his band and is facing eviction. When he’s serendipitously mistaken for a substitute teacher at a straight-laced private school, he seizes his chance to make some quick cash. Avoiding the prying eyes of the school’s principal and parents, Dewey teaches his uptight classroom how to let loose, chase their dreams, and express themselves through their music.

The School of Rock creative team includes director Tracey Power, who returns for her second consecutive year directing with TUTS, following last year’s The Prom; choreographer Matthew Rossoff, who first performed on stage with TUTS in the early 2000’s; and music director Eliza De Castro, a 2023 TUTS Music Directing Fellow for The Prom. Together, the team hopes to inspire audiences with the power music holds to bring people together.

Playing the lead roles of Dewey Finn and Rosalie Mullins are Colin Sheen and Emma Love, who both make their TUTS debut. They are joined by returning TUTS performers, Matthew Valinho as Ned Schneebly and Marija Danyluk as Patty Di Marco, who both previously appeared in We Will Rock You and The Prom. Grayson Besworth (Billy) and Alex MacIsaac (Marcy) will return from 2023’s Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical. The remainder of School of Rock’s youth cast–some of whom are music students with TUTS partner School of Rock Vancouver–will be making their TUTS debuts, including Crosby Mark as Zack Mooneyham, Fumi Okochi as Lawrence, Mya Forrest as Katie, Casey Trotter as Freddie Hamilton, Thailey Roberge as Summer Hathaway, Azaleah Korn as Tomika, Ema Lake as Shonelle, Jaeger Yee as James, Sebastian Morris as Mason, Lucy Eves as Sophie, and Madison Tchir as Madison. Returning ensemble members include Rachel Scheibel (42nd Street), Eric Timuss (The Prom, We Will Rock You), Maria Marshall (We Will Rock You), Angella Cody (The Prom), and Jessica Kelley (The Prom). Debut ensemble members include David Grof, Tamara Paolatto, Liam Nimmo, and Tony Dizon.


 




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