'Cats' production hits GM this winter

Category:  News
Friday, October 18th, 2019 at 11:12 AM
'Cats' production hits GM this winter by General McLane School District

General McLane High School students will be channeling their inner feline as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musical “Cats” takes over the school’s auditorium Nov. 21-24. Although November may seem far away, tickets for the production go on sale Monday, Oct. 28.

“We knew we had a lot of very talented students, and we wanted to find the perfect show to showcase their talents,” said General McLane High School Musical Director Bruce Yates. “‘Cats’ is the perfect piece to showcase this group of talent and is a huge ensemble show that gives everyone a chance to shine.”

The cast will include Julia Esposito (Grizabella), Kellen Smith (Munkustrap), Ryan Hess (Rum Tum Tugger), Abby Johnson (Jennyanydots), Jayda Plonski, Allison Walsh and Maddie Wager (The Andrew Sisters), Isaac Smith (Gus), Clara Enterline (Jellylorum), Aidan Regan (Skimbleshanks), Jack Mennow (Macavity/Admetus), Alyvia Carmosino (Victoria), Cassidy Comer (Bombalurina), Olivia Minner (Demeter), Gabe Bayle (Mungojerrie), Katelyn Crum (Rumpleteazer), Michael Corsale (Mistoffelees), Anna Chernicky (Jemima),Caleb Minner (Bustopher Jones), Lexi Langer (Coricopat), Katelynn Langer (Tantomile), Makaela Persons (Cassandra), RJ Benedict (Alonzo), Myles Bruce (Pouncival), Chandler Villanueva (Bill Bailey), Grace Honeycutt (Etcetera), Sophia Lehman (Electra), Faith Morrow (Exotica) and Meredith Moore (Sillabub).

In addition to students cast for the show, General McLane School District Superintendent Richard Scaletta will have his own role — he will be playing Old Deuteronomy. Scaletta was the choir director at the high school before moving into administration and now superintendent. In fact, Scaletta was the choir teacher for now musical co-director Trisha Yates.

“It was the one role that we felt needed to be played by an adult since Deuteronomy is the father/grandfather figure in the show,” she said. “We were never considering having a student play the role and were always planning on using an adult, so who better to play it than General McLane School District’s leader/father of sorts.”

Outside of Scaletta, General McLane High School art teacher Katie Thompson is also adding her touches to the production. She will be painting and air brushing, by hand, all 30 individual costumes. There will also be 30 custom wigs created and styled by wig mistress and General McLane alumna Maggie Lasher (2013). To help with the amount of dance involved in this production, Jenna Yates is bringing her expertise once again as the musical’s choreographer/co-director.

In regard to the set, Bruce Yates said that it’s going to take on the look of an underpass rather than the traditional junk yard.
“We wanted to have a look that was less traditional, and after researching many different versions, we settled on the underpass look. Buck Snodgrass does amazing set work and audiences are sure to be impressed with his final creation,” he said. “All together, this production is quite the undertaking. People are not going to want to miss this show!”

A record-breaking musical that has captured audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages, “Cats” is the winner of seven Tony Awards, including for “Best Musical.” Universal Pictures will release a film adaptation of it in December.

Tickets are $8 for students, $10 for general admission and $15 for a limited number of “The Heavyside Layer,” which are the first eight rows of the center section (about 120 seats per night).

The tickets will be available to purchase on Oct. 28, online or by calling the General McLane High School office at 814-273-1033, extension 1900. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, along with 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Similar to past General McLane musicals, tickets are expected to sell out.

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