Pentangle Arts and ArtisTree Announce Collaboration on CATS

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Pentangle Arts and ArtisTree are thrilled to announce the opening of their collaborative stage production of CATS The Musical. The show runs from April 29th to May 8th, 2016, and features local and professional talent. Both organizations are thrilled to offer this rare opportunity to see CATS The Musical in the Upper Valley -- before it returns to Broadway this summer! The music is composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the story is based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, by T. S. Eliot. CATS ran on Broadway from 1982 to 2000, making it the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.

This performance is set in a gigantic rubbish dump which, after dark, becomes alive with cats of all types, shapes and sizes. It's the night of the Jellicle Ball. The cat clan has gathered for the annual event at which the revered elder, Old Deuteronomy, chooses the most deserving cat to ascend with him for a heavenly reward. The cats have gathered, and one by one, we learn about their personalities, exactly as T. S. Eliot portrayed them in his book of poems.

There are eight performances, beginning with opening night on Friday, April 29th. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at www.pentanglearts.org or by calling 802-457-3981. For anyone wanting to make this event even more special, The Prince and The Pauper restaurant is offering a "Mother's Day Brunch and Show Combo" on Sunday, May 8th. The package includes a wonderful meal for mom and tickets to the matinee show. For more information or to make a reservation, call The Prince and The Pauper at 802-457-1818.

CATS The Musical is directed by Upper Valley resident, Susan Lamontange (a former Broadway CAT herself) and will be true to the original Broadway choreography and production. Music Director Josh D. Smith, whose local credits include: Into the Woods, by Northern Stage; Fiddler on the Roof, by Pentangle Arts and ArtisTree; and, The Rocky Horror Show, by Pentangle Arts, has arranged music for the 10-piece orchestra for CATS based on the original Broadway score. For this production Music Director Josh D. Smith has pulled together an orchestra of highly talented musicians and singers to bring the brilliant but complicated score to life.

"This collaborative production with ArtisTree Community Arts Center is our second co-production", says Alita Wilson, Pentangle Arts Executive Director. "Working together, we are able to connect with the community on multiple levels. As organizations based in the community and supported by the community it is incumbent upon us to find ways to showcase area talent - whether onstage or backstage. From the actors portraying CATS in the cast, to the production team, to the musicians - over 40 individuals from the Upper Valley are part of this show. In addition, we hope to draw audience members of all ages from the area and beyond."

Pentangle and ArtisTree are pleased to announce some names of local talent rounding out the diverse and large cast, including: Cristia Johnson as Cassandra, Iva Wich as Demeter, Dana Burrington as Rumpleteazer, Laura Corcoran as Jellylorum, Kat Eichler as Jennyanydots, Eden Goldstein as Coricopat, and Mason Archambeault as Tantomile. Cute as a button kittens include: Jacob Merrill, Aya Goldstein, Kellan Johannensen, Brighton Martsolf-Tan, Poppy Tans, Adi Wilson, and, Nicholas and Noah Lamontagne.

The set is a masterful, larger- than-life junkyard designed by Carl Tallent, and built by Upper Valley residents, Clayton Teal and Chris Lamontange. On the evening of the Jellicle Ball the stage comes alive under spectacular lighting, designed by Janine Thoma. Felines - festooned in costumes designed and created by Upper Valley residents Tracey Sullivan, Julia Watson, Anna Winter, and Jeannette Veverka - emerge slowly from the dark into the bright light.

Pentangle and ArtisTree are thrilled to welcome Ken Prymus as Old Deuteronomy. Prymus played the role of Old Deuteronomy 2,672 times in the Winter Garden Theater in New York, making him the longest running actor to play a single role in the theater. His other Broadway credits include Ain't Misbehavin, The Wiz as well as numerous off-Broadway shows and television and movie credits.

"We knew we needed an abundance of talent on stage and backstage to bring a show of this size and complexity to life AND stay true to the original score and choreography," says Wilson. "We believe that our local talent will reap the benefit of working not only with Susan and Josh, but also Assistant Choreographer, and former CAT on the national tour, Bradley Barnes, as well as the handful of actors from New York City who have been in CATS before.

Lastly, this may be the only opportunity for Upper Valley audiences to see CATS outside of New York City, as the show returns to Broadway in the summer. CATS opens at Woodstock Town Hall Theatre on Friday, April 29th. There are eight performances over two weekends.

Pentangle Arts and ArtisTree thank the following businesses for sponsoring this production: The Woodstock Inn & Resort, The Prince and The Pauper, On the River Inn, The Point Radio, The Shire Motel.

For tickets or more information go to Pentanglearts.org or call (802) 457-3981.



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From This Author Louisa Brady