Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

How Do You Herd Cats?

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats opens in The Round Barn Theatre Friday night, curtain time 8:00 p.m. After watching rehearsals over the last three weeks, I am in awe of the talent it takes to mount this production. It is by far the most complex and demanding show we have ever done. The cast that Laurie Schotz has assembled resembles a thoroughbred stable—bad analogy—but it fits. The dancing and athleticism required is grueling. Preventing injury by intense “pre-game” warm up makes my experience in sports seem pale.

Fifteen highly professional dancers/singers have been assembled from thirteen states. Bryan J. Wlas and Nathan W. Brown are directing/choreographing and music directing the show. Matt Green is lighting the production in addition to designing the sound. Makeup takes an hour before each show as every cat’s personality comes to life through the faces of the actors. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation of “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot is, of course, genius.

Many people are trumpeting the end of live theatre because of the ease of watching your favorite TV show or movie on your IPhone. Well, Cats is not your grandfather’s live theatre. It is an ingenious escape into a world of imagination at its best. I won’t reveal the set details, but there is no doubt these are domestic cats who stand 24 inches on their hind legs. Interwoven is a story in song about the circle of life that anticipates the next generation’s Lion King. 800 of our season subscribers saw the opening number this week during our 2010 Theme Buffet and Theatre Preview Party. If their response is an indication, nearly all 68 performances will be sold out.

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