‘CATS’ to be performed at the Avalon

Rehearsals and other last-minute preparations are going on now for Broadway at the Avalon’s production of “CATS.” There are 32 cast members in the musical, which can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 13–14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St.

Of all the shows in Broadway history, “CATS” is one of the most iconic.

From composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs, to the musical’s lavish costumes and intricate dance choreography, “CATS” took Broadway by storm when it began in 1982, enjoying an 18-year run and winning the 1983 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Now, “CATS” is coming to Grand Junction for three shows in the Broadway at the Avalon inaugural season.

“We really want you to get lost in the visual of theater,” said Nicholas L. Walker, one of the organizers for Broadway at the Avalon and a part of the local Smoke and Mirrors Theatre Company.

New York City-based actor Jacob Thompson, who spent several months in Grand Junction years ago during a run of “Beauty and the Best” at the former Cabaret, has returned to play Rum Tum Tugger.

It will be Thompson’s first time playing a role in “CATS.”

Thompson is the only equity actor hired from out of state for this production.

“It’s really an ensemble piece,” Thompson said, noting that all 32 cast members are on stage together, sharing in the telling of the story.

But the story of “CATS” is far from the only reason it gained critical acclaim. The makeup, costumes and choreography play an integral roles in the show’s appeal, said Walker, who is in charge of the make-up and costume direction for the local shows.

Walker estimated it would take up to six hours for five people, including himself, to do the makeup and costumes before each production.

He began building the costumes and design the makeup looks nearly a month ago. Had he rented the costumes, it would have cost $11,000, he said.

Absolute Dance’s Theresa Kahl choreographed this production of “CATS” using the original Broadway production as inspiration. Rachel Roseberry, who plays Sillabub, is the dance captain and has been in charge of helping to clean up staging issues and meeting with dancers since rehearsals began four weeks ago.

Broadway at the Avalon will present “CATS” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 13–14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St.

Call 1-877-434-8497 for ticket information.


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