“Feline, fearless, faithful, and true.”
In the spring of 2013, the TA Players, dressed in unitards and tails, put on Broadway’s longest running show – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS. With lyrics taken from the poems by T.S. Eliot, this production was close to “purrfect”. Five shows, each of them sold out to the point that extra seats were put in the aisles, and had a fire Marshall decided to do a surprise inspection, we would have failed. But everyone got to share in the joy that was CATS. The production was directed by David Hanright, with Cathy Murray cultivating the vocals and Emma Arenstam choreographing the catlike moves.
Auditions took place December 13, 2012. Eighty-seven hopeful TA students auditioned, each singing, dancing, and acting an excerpt of their choice. In the end, forty-two people were included in the cast. Fifty percent of those who auditioned were cut, making for the greatest percentage to be cut from a show in TA Player history.
Rehearsals took place every day for about three hours. After all, the show is two and a half hours of pure dancing. But that wasn’t the only impressive thing about this show- everything was handmade. The cast often came in on Saturdays – termed “Caturdays” – where they colored in the unitards, knit the legwarmers, pulled strings in the yarn to make the wigs, and made everything else that was seen onstage.
For those who don’t know the plot of CATS, you are not missing anything as there really isn’t one. It follows a bunch of junkyard cats all trying to find out who the next cat would be to travel up up up past the Russell Hotel, up up up up to the Heavyside Layer. However, most of the show is spent introducing each of these cats rather than actually conveying a story.
* Fun Bit of Trivia * On the Saturday night production, our piece of set for the Heavyside Layer malfunctioned and our Grizabella had to hike up up up and actually risked falling. She made it and a video of this triumph is on YouTube.
Watch the Cast of CATS do the Harlem Shake (Jellicle Style): http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp8Jo7iGnmQ