From the Press
 

‘Cats’ a purrfect production for summertime in Spring Lake
By Karen Meister

The Spring Lake Theatre Company is currently running the ever-popular Broadway musical production of “Cats” — and what a spectacular production it is.

This rendition of the Tony award winning play by Andrew Lloyd Webber is as sensational as the 1982 original, which ran for 18 years on the New York stage. I want to mention all the fantastic elements that go into this performance, giving credit where it is due, but you will want to attend the theatre since seeing is believing. One step into the Thomas A. Crowley Theater and you will just be in awe with the extravagant set, designed by Andrew D’Agnostino and Frank Bell.

It consists of an oversized junkyard with garage sale and dilapidated items that are randomly strewn about. After being seated and the lights begin to dim, you get the strange feeling that you are not alone. Cats are everywhere — creeping, crawling, slithering, and purring, and if you look around a bit, you may see a cat staring at you! But, no worries, these various cats are the multi-talented cast members that make this production so exquisite.

These cats sing beautifully, dance with superior agility, and just make the story come alive. As the cats gather on stage, we learn the purpose of the special ceremony that takes place once a year. It is a Jellicle custom to choose one Jellicle cat to be reborn into a new life on the “Heaviside Layer.” Old Deuteronomy, being the oldest and wisest feline, will choose the most deserving member for the rebirth. Whether you prefer a particular type of cat or not, each member of the Jellicles is donned in a very distinguished costume, created by Theresa Condoluci, Pat Barry and several volunteers.

Along with the spectacular costumes is the unique choreography, directed by Colleen Mangan. The Rockettes have nothing on these young performers, whose intriguing movements are done with ease and grace. With Pat Barry as producer and Kerry Baglivio, director, this production is bound to be one of Spring Lake’s finest. Andrew Lloyd Webber based his 1982 Broadway production on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which was a childhood favorite of Mr. Webber’s. He took Mr. Eliot’s verse and set it to music and the result surpassed all expectations.

The cast did a splendid job with each and every one of the eclectic melodies, from the beginning overture to the finale, each accompanied by the rich sounds of the orchestra, directed by Mary Lough. I am sure many of you have seen “Cats” at several different venues, but this production is the best I have ever seen.

I urge all readers who enjoy an old classic that never loses its appeal to spend a delightful evening at the Spring Lake Theatre.

The production will be running on July 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.
Ticket prices for adults are $28; seniors 65-plus and students $26 and children under 12 $20.
Tickets are available at the Spring Lake Theatre Box Office, by calling 732-449- 4530 or by visiting online at springlaketheatre.com.
The theatre is located at 300 Madison Avenue, Spring Lake.