Get a Sneak Peek at the Jellicle Cats Rehearsing for Off-Broadway’s Cats: The Jellicle Ball

The Perelman Performing Arts Center is abuzz with excitement as rehearsals continue for the highly anticipated Cats: The Jellicle Ball, a ballroom-inspired reimagining of the beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Set to begin performances Off-Broadway on June 13, the production’s opening night is scheduled for June 20, with the run continuing through July 14. Audiences can get a sneak peek at the vibrant rehearsal process in the video above.

A Fusion of Ballroom and Broadway

This innovative production blends the world of ballroom culture with the timeless story of the Jellicle Cats. Cast members from the ballroom scene include Baby, a two-time Ballroom Women’s Performance of the Year Award winner (Southeast Region), as Victoria; Dudney Joseph Jr. as Munkustrap; renowned ballroom DJ Capital Kaos as DJ; Paris Is Burning MC Junior LaBeija as Gus; Robert “Silk” Mason, founding mother of the Kiki Royal Haus of Silk, as Mistoffelees; Queen mother of the house of Maison Margiela, “Tempress” Chasity Moore, as Grizabella; and Primo as Tumblebrutus.

The cast also features notable names from musical theatre and dance, including Jonathan Burke (The Inheritance) as Mungojerrie, Emma Sofia Caymares (Finding Neverland) as Skimbleshanks, Tony winner André De Shields (Hadestown, The Wiz) as Old Deuteronomy, Sydney James Harcourt (Hamilton) as Rum Tum Tugger, Antwayn Hopper (A Strange Loop) as Macavity, Shereen Pimentel (West Side Story) as Jellylorum, Nora Schell (Jagged Little Pill) as Bustopher Jones, Garnet Williams as Bombalurina, Teddy Wilson Jr. as Sillabub, Xavier Reyes as Jennyanydots, Bebe Nicole Simpson as Demeter, and Dava Huesca as Rumpleteazer.

A Stellar Creative Team

The production is helmed by co-directors Zhailon Levingston (Chicken & Biscuits) and Bill Rauch (All the Way), with choreography by Legendary season two winner Arturo Lyons and vogue dancer Omari Wiles. The creative team includes dramaturg and gender consultant Josephine Kearns, scenic designer Rachel Hauck, costume designer Qween Jean, lighting designer Adam Honoré, sound designer Kai Harada, projection designer Brittany Bland, and hair and wig designer Nikiya Mathis, who is set to receive a 2024 Special Tony Award. Capital Kaos, a company member, also serves as ballroom consultant.

Music supervisor William Waldrop and music director David Lai lead the music department, with beats arranger Trevor Holder bringing fresh sounds to the production.

Immersive Theatre Experience

The production will offer stage-side cabaret table seating in the reconfigurable PAC NYC, creating an immersive experience for the audience. Non-cabaret table seating will also be available.

The Ballroom Scene and Cats

While ballroom culture might seem like a natural fit for Cats, the original 1979 London production, choreographed by Gillian Lynne, featured quasi-modern ballet-inspired dance and costumes typical of the ’80s. This new version reimagines the Jellicle Ball through the lens of ballroom culture, an underground LGBTQIA+ subculture that emerged in 1920s New York City and gained prominence in the ’80s. Known for its runway walk categories and vogue dancing, the ballroom scene has profoundly influenced queer and popular culture, famously documented in the 1990 film Paris Is Burning.

A Worthy Cause

Presented by arrangement with The Really Useful Group, this production of Cats: The Jellicle Ball has a philanthropic aspect as well. Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced that he will donate his royalties from the production to the American Theatre Wing’s Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative and PAC NYC.

With a unique blend of ballroom flair and Broadway magic, Cats: The Jellicle Ball promises to be an unforgettable theatrical experience. Don’t miss your chance to witness this exciting reimagining when it hits the stage next month.

 

 

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