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Ballroom-themed Cats revival – first look

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is reimagined

Cats: The Jellicle Ball, © Matthew Murphy
Cats: The Jellicle Ball, © Matthew Murphy

 

Take a first look at the New York staging of Cats: “The Jellicle Ball”.

The show is a reimagining of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T S Eliot. It runs to 14 July.

Inspired by the Ballroom culture in New York City over 50 years ago that still rages on runways around the world, Cats: “The Jellicle Ball” will feature a company of artists from Broadway and New York’s Ballroom floors.

The cast includes Baby (two-time winner of Ballroom Women’s Performance of the Year award, Southeast Region) as Victoria, Jonathan Burke (The Inheritance) as Mungojerrie; Emma Sofia Caymares (Finding Neverland) as Skimbleshanks, Tony winner André De Shields (Hadestown) as Old Deuteronomy, Sydney James Harcourt (Hamilton) as Rum Tum Tugger, Antwayn Hopper (A Strange Loop) as Macavity, performing artist Dava Huesca as Rumpleteazer, Dudney Joseph Jr as Munkustrap, Ballroom DJ Capital Kaos as DJ, Junior LaBeija (Paris is Burning) as Gus, Robert “Silk” Mason (founding mother of the new Kiki Royal Haus of Silk) as Mistoffelees, “Tempress” Chasity Moore (founder and Queen Mother of the house of Maison Margiela) as Grizabella, Shereen Pimentel (West Side Story) as Jellylorum, Primo as Tumblebrutus, Xavier Reyes (Clyde’s) as Jennyanydots, Nora Schell (Jagged Little Pill) as Bustopher Jones, Bebe Nicole Simpson (The Refuge Plays) as Demeter, Garnet Williams as Bombalurina, and Teddy Wilson Jr as Sillabub.

The ensemble includes Tara Lashan Clinkscales and Frank Viveros. Understudies include Dava Huesca, Kendall G Stroud, Shelby Grisworld and Dominique Lee.

The show will be staged as an immersive competition by director Zhailon Levingston (Chicken and Biscuits) and PAC NYC artistic director Bill Rauch. The creative team also includes choreographers Arturo Lyons and Omari Wiles, scenic designer Rachel Hauck, costume designer Qween Jean, lighting designer Adam Honoré, sound designer Kai Harada, projection designer Brittany Bland, hair/wig designer Nikiya Mathis, music supervisor and music director William Waldrop, music coordinator David Lai, beats arranger Trevor Holder, ballroom consultant Capital Kaos, and dramaturg and gender consultant Josephine Kearns. Casting is by X Casting/ Victor Vazquez, and Sujotta R Pace.