Arts and Entertainment

Frisky cast strong in BPA’s ‘CATS’

L. to R., Evelina Svensson as Demeter, Alex MacKay as Munkustrap, Lisa Mandelkorn as Jellylorum/Griddlebone and Shannon Dowling as Bombalurina on the prowl.  - Steven Fogell/Courtesy Photo
L. to R., Evelina Svensson as Demeter, Alex MacKay as Munkustrap, Lisa Mandelkorn as Jellylorum/Griddlebone and Shannon Dowling as Bombalurina on the prowl.
— image credit: Steven Fogell/Courtesy Photo

Following on the heels of staging the blockbuster “Chicago,” BPA is presenting Broadway’s second-longest running musical, “CATS.”

“It’s a difficult show to do – with no lines, just the music,” said Director Steven Fogell.

Starting with the imaginative play by Andew Lloyd Webber based on T.S. Eliot’s poetry, the BPA version puts a contemporary twist on the classic.

Casting turned up quite a few new faces, as well as mainstays from Bainbridge’s formidable talent pool.

Powerful vocals abound – notably opera-trained Lisa Mandelkorn who performs an aria with Bainbridge vocal coach Mark Power – and Shelli Shelton, singing Grizabella’s memorable tune “Memories.” Chris Kolbegger provides vocal direction.

The cast is populated with lithe dancers who carry off Kiplinn Sagmiller’s choreography with feline grace.

Costuming veers from the trademark black unitards, the more humanized look giving a boost to character development.

The set is spare but brings some back-alley attitude. Fogell imagined a bit of 1930s London into the look which meshes nicely with BPA’s October art exhibit, which happens to be works by Fogell.

Kids of all ages can get their face painted in the lobby or buy a set of sequined cat ears.

All in all, it’s a fine way to introduce a younger generation to the Broadway classic.

 

 

Performances are from Oct. 14-30, at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.

A Pay-What-You-Can Preview is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13.

Tickets are $27 for adults, $22 for seniors, and $19 for students, youth, military and teachers.

For information, visit www.bainbridgeperforming arts.org.

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