FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 10, 2011
MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Contact: Jim Mastin, Director of Public Information & Auxiliary Services
Mendocino College Performing Arts and
Ukiah Civic Light Opera present
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s greatest musical
Directed by John DeGaetano
Choreography by Leslie Saxon West
Vocal Direction by Marilyn Simpson
Musical Direction by Les Pfutzenreuter
April 1st through April 10, 2011
Mendocino College, 1000 Hensley
Creek Rd, Ukiah
What’s a Jellicle Cat? Mendocino College’s magical and heartwarming production of Cats tells the story, in song and dance, of the annual gathering of Jellicle cats, where one special cat is selected to ascend to its next life in the Heavyside Layer. This musical theater phenomenon will run April 1st through April 10th at the Mendocino College Center Theatre.
Cats ran on Broadway for 18 years, making it one of Broadway’s longest running shows. It is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s finest score, featuring the haunting song, “Memory,” sung in this production by local vocal phenomenon Paula Samonte as Grizabella, a former glamour cat who has lost her sparkle. Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award and the Tony Award for Best Musical, Cats has been performed around the world in numerous productions in more than 20 languages. Based upon poet T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) the production is unusual in that musical genres range from classical to pop, music hall, jazz, rock and electro-acoustic music as well as hymnal songs.
Mendocino College Performing Arts departments and Ukiah Civic Light Opera are co-producers of this much anticipated event. “Seventy people, ranging in age from 7-70 years old, auditioned for the show and out of that, 38 people were cast” says Leslie Saxon West, choreographer and producer. About 80 people are involved in this show, with cast members taking singing, acting and dance classes and non-performers taking theatrical lighting, costuming, make up, and prop making. Saxon West continues, “I’m thrilled to be choreographing this production as there is so much room for creativity! We are taking a new direction with the choreography, trying to make it more contemporary and more relevant to our dance program, students and our community. We are even including a little hip hop!”
Director John DeGaetano, who lives in Sonoma County, is new to the Theatre Arts faculty at the college. He has worked for years in theatre, film, and public television including an upcoming National Geographic docu-drama. His production credits include Miss Saigon, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the North Bay première of Cats among others. He is currently President of the Raven Players Artistic Board in Healdsburg.
Heading up the musical direction are Les Pfutzenreuter and Marilyn Simpson, with lighting design by Steve Wilson, set design by Larry Lang and costume design by Kathy Dingman-Katz.
Cats opens on Friday, April 1 with an 8:00 PM start time. Show times are Saturday, April 2 at 8:00 PM, Sunday, April 3 at 2:00 PM, Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 PM, Friday, April 8 at 8:00 PM, Saturday, April 9 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM and Sunday, April 10 at 2:00 PM. General seating is $15 Adult, $12 Seniors/Students. Tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, the Mendocino College Bookstore and online at www.artsmendocino.org. For more information go to www.mendocino.edu or call 707- 462-9155.
Media Contact Only: Leslie Saxon West 707-468-3079
Created: March 11, 2011 @ 04:17 PM
Last Modified: September 23, 2011 @ 05:18 PM