Effective Immediately, Place des Arts Suspends Activities until April 12

One of the biggest hits in theatrical history, Cats will be presented at the Place des Arts March 17 to 22 featuring new sound design, direction and choreography. The record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages.

The winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Cats tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.

Based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ and other poems by T.S. Eliot, the musical introduces Rum Tum Tugger, Bustopher Jones, Grizabella, Rumpleteazer, Skimbleshanks and others Jellicle Cats in dance and song as they prepare for the Jellicle Ball when one of them will ascend to the mystical Heavyside Layer. It comes to Montreal only months after Cats hit the big screen as a motion picture with an all-star cast.

“I did not see the movie,” says Donna Vivino, who joined the cast in January to portray Grizabella. “I had never even seen the stage production before. When I got this part I saw it in Boston and I was blown away how spectacular it was. I will wait to see the movie until this tour ends.”

Vivino has been on a Broadway stage since the age of eight. She was the original Young Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway and is on the cast recording singing “Castle on A Cloud.” She also starred as Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway and the touring company.

“In Cats I get to sing the popular song Memory,” Vivino says. “This is an iconic song that has been immortalized in worldwide culture. I feel so honoured.”

As for the heavy makeup performers must put on for each show, Vivino says that what she finds most interesting is that everybody is responsible for themselves. “This part of the Cats culture,” she explained. “I think it is quite genius. For the performers it really helps us get into character.”

Production Manager Gregg De Manti says that what he likes most about Cats is its wide appeal. “This is a show that bridges generations,” he notes. “You will see a mix of older folks who have seen the show a few times before. Then there are the parents who saw it as well, coming with their younger children. My wife and I did that with our five year old. It is timeless.”

There is a 13 member production crew that travels with the show. “It takes about 10 hours to unload our material, set it up and turn things over to the local crew,” De Manti explains.

There will be eight shows between March 17 and 22, including weekend matinees. For ticket information log on www.evenko.ca or call 514-842-2112.

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