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Cats cropWagner College Theatre wraps up its 2014-15 Main Stage season with one of the world’s most popular musicals, “Cats,” from April 22-25 and April 29 through May 3. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, with 2 p.m. weekend matinees on April 25, May 2 and May 3.

Featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (“Evita,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”) and based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot, “Cats” tells the story, in song and dance, of the annual gathering of Jellicle cats, when one special cat is selected to ascend to the Heaviside layer.

Wagner’s production features direction by WCT Dance Director Rusty Curcio (WCT’s Head of Dance) and choreography by Rusty Curcio and Maggie Marino Pitts ’07, with musical direction by James Higgins (WCT’s “Hello, Dolly!” and “The Drowsy Chaperone”).

CATS, which contains no spoken dialogue, revolves around the antics of such feline characters as Old Deuteronomy, Jennyanydots, Mr. Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, Skimbleshanks and Grizabella, who sings the musical’s most popular song “Memory.”

With over 40 Theater Performance majors, “Cats” marks one of the largest casts ever assembled for a Wagner production, with Nicole Amato (Silabub), Nick Barakos (Quaxo), Becca Barrett (Jennyanydots), Zach Berteletti (Mungojerrie), Brad Cashman (Old Deuteronomy), Jacob Cowan (Alonzo), Stephon Font-Toomer (Macavity), Sam Forin (Bustopher Jones), Rachel Houser (Grizabella), TJ Lamando (Skimbleshanks), Ryann Lillis (Silabub), Chelsea Loesel (Etcetera), Jake Tyler Marks (Pouncival), Alexis Marquardt (Exotica), Joe O’Malley (Gus the Theatre Cast), Lisa Jeanne Peterson (Bombalurina),Emma Pittman (Victoria), Jonathan Quigley (Mr. Mistofelees), Jason Rath (Rum Tum Tugger), Alec Reiss (Coricopat), Tyler Roberts (Rumpus Cat),Maria Salerno (Demeter), Sydni Session (Cassandra), Mari Skoultchi (Rumpleteazer), Daniela Sottile (‘matinee’ Grizabella), Joshua Sottile(Munkustrap), Kelly Swint (Tantomile), Clint Maddox Thompson (Plato), Megan Viglione (Jellylorum), Julia Weber (Electra), Tom Althoff, Addi Berry,Jeanine Bruen, Serina Figueiaras, Matthew Healey, Kyle Johnson, Stephen Kallas, Sabrina Kalman, Jeff Mills, Natalie Schaffer, Mackenzie Shay and John Thacker.

The design team includes Richard Kendrick (sets), Vicki Neal (lights), Kurt Alger (costumes), Richard Kroth (sound) and Brian Strumwasser (makeup/wig design).  K.T. Sanders ’14 is production stage manager.

A true musical theater phenomenon, “Cats” opened at London’s New London Theatre on May 11, 1981, and ran for a record-setting 21 years. The show began its New York run at the Winter Garden Theatre on October 7, 1982, winning seven 1983 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. On September 10, 2000, “Cats” finally hung up its Broadway whiskers after nearly 18 years and a record 7,485 performances. The show’s appeal is clearly universal, as it has been translated into over 20 languages. A new production of “Cats” has opened in London, with talk of returning to Broadway soon. As time has proven, “Cats” is truly now and forever.

Single tickets for “Cats” are now on sale at the Wagner College Theatre box office, located on the first floor of Main Hall — call 718-390-3259 or email boxoffice@wagner.edu. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 12 to 4 p.m. Single tickets are available in price ranges for children, seniors and adults. Wagner College students attend free with current ID.

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