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Perfect Play or Musical of 2013: Duluth Playhouse Children’s Theatre’s Cats

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.

Kate Horvath - Duluth Playhouse - Cats

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.

Cats - Duluth Playhouse

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hn3yF8ymd4

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3 Comments

Claire

about 10 months ago

I admit it. I am a stage mother. My daughter was in this play and I saw it maybe three or four times. It well deserves being named best play of 2013. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it, believe me. Thanks to everyone who didn't let the fact that it was children's theater get in the way of realizing that this production fricking rocked Duluth.

Beverly

about 10 months ago

Stage moms can use their powers for good or evil, Claire. I try not to embrace the dark side. Many teens from the Cats cast are also in Hairspray at the Underground, opening March 13. As part of the preparation for the show, they've had guest speakers discuss the civil rights movement, and they're diving into issues of race, prejudice and equality. Also, hairdos. Visit duluthplayhouse.org to buy tickets. It's three weekends, and likely to sell out.

Donna Olston

about 10 months ago

I am also a "stage mom" and saw Cats either in the audience, behind stage or as an usher. I am amazed by the fabulous theater we have in our little town of Duluth, but I am even more amazed by our amazing children's theater. And extremely proud to be a part of this. James Bjork saw Cats as a touring version of the Broadway play when he was 5. He said then "I want to be Mr. Mistoffelees." When he auditioned for and received the part of Mr. Mistoffelees in the production of Cats in 2013 at the age of 16 I believe I was more excited than he was! And he was an unbelievable Mr. Mistoffelees if I do say so myself! I am so excited that Cats was the production of the year!

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