By Matt Polk
Ken Prymus is fully costumed as Old Deuteronomy in “Cats the Musical.” The actor stars in a local production of “Cats” in Woodstock.
April 29-May 8 — WOODSTOCK — Pentangle Arts and ArtisTree will open their collaborative stage production of “Cats, the Musical” on April 29, running through May 8, featuring local and professional talent. Both organizations are thrilled to offer this rare opportunity to see “Cats” 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 at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre, 31 the Green, Woodstock, beginning with opening night on Friday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m., continuing April 30 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; May 1 at 2 p.m.; May 6 at 7:30 p.m.; May 7 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and closes on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8 with a 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets are available at www.pentanglearts.org or 802-457-3981.
“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 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. “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.”
Ken Prymus plays the roll of Old Deuteronomy, a role he has portrayed 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.
Audiences can look forward to amazing set designs, stunning costumes, and breathtaking choreography. For tickets or more information go to Pentanglearts.org or call 802-457-3981.