Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats: The Jellicle Ball Melds Iconic Musical with NYC’s Ballroom Culture

New York City: The Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) has unveiled the initial casting for a groundbreaking reimagining of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical, “Cats: The Jellicle Ball.” This new production, inspired by the vibrant Ballroom culture that has flourished in New York City for over half a century and continues to captivate audiences worldwide, promises to be a spectacular fusion of Broadway brilliance and Ballroom elegance.

Scheduled to grace the stage from June 13 to July 14, “Cats: The Jellicle Ball” draws its inspiration from T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” reinterpreted through the lens of NYC’s historic Ballroom scene. The production boasts an electrifying ensemble of performers, blending seasoned Broadway veterans with stars from the Ballroom community. Notably, the cast includes the luminous Baby, a two-time winner of the Ballroom Women’s Performance of the Year award, in the role of Victoria, and Tony Award-winner André De Shields, celebrated for his role in “Hadestown,” who will bring his unparalleled talent to the character of Old Deuteronomy.

Among the stellar lineup are Jonathan Burke of “The Inheritance” fame as Mungojerrie, Emma Sofia Caymares from “Finding Neverland” as Skimbleshanks, and Sydney James Harcourt, known for his performance in “Hamilton,” as Rum Tum Tugger. The cast also features Ballroom DJ Capital Kaos and Junior LaBeija from the legendary documentary “Paris is Burning,” showcasing the authentic spirit of Ballroom culture.

The show is poised to break new ground, presenting the musical as an immersive competition under the visionary direction of Zhailon Levingston (“Chicken and Biscuits”) and the artistic guidance of PAC NYC’s Bill Rauch. The creative team is a who’s who of theatrical innovation, including choreographers Arturo Lyons and Omari Wiles, scenic designer Rachel Hauck, and a host of other talented artists dedicated to bringing this vibrant world to life.

With additional casting to be announced, anticipation is high for what promises to be one of the most exciting theatrical events of the year. “Cats: The Jellicle Ball” is not just a musical; it’s a celebration of the enduring legacy and ongoing evolution of New York City’s Ballroom culture, promising a performance that will leave audiences mesmerized and yearning for more.

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