It was a big year for Duluth theater in 2013, with eight productions receiving a significant number of votes for the honor of best play or musical. In the end, the Duluth Playhouse Children’s Theatre production of Cats emerged as the favorite.
Managing a cast of 60 kids, ranging from 12 to 18 years old, is an ambitious undertaking all by itself. Playhouse Education Director Kate Horvath handled it beautifully as the show’s director. Actors prepared for their roles through foundational text analysis of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the collection of poems by T. S. Eliot upon which the musical is based. The actors were trained to apply their own makeup and designed their own distinct looks.
Paige Kohler, one of the most sought-after choreographers in the city, arranged the dance moves. Kris Biles and Margaret Webber designed the costumes, of which there were many. Patrick Colvin directed the music composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber.
Cats took 42.3 percent of the votes among the top three plays. Two Renegade Theater Co. productions receive honorary mentions for second- and third- place finishes. The Pillowman took 33.3 percent of voting; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson pulled in 24.4 percent.
To celebrate the win, the cast of Cats will now do the “Harlem Shake” for you.