Cats is a fantastical exploration of the secret life of cats, created by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1981 from the poetry of T. S. Eliot. In each Talk on the Step, an expert investigates Cats from a unique disciplinary perspective:
Thursday February 9 at 7:00pm: Professor Dan Calloway of the Performing Arts Department explores the famous song “Memory.” How can a song be both beloved by fans and scorned by critics? Professor Calloway will take us inside to music to explain why you can’t help but hum this melody.
Friday February 10 at 7:00pm: Dr. Scott Proudfit of the English Department explains how the poetry of T. S. Eliot is adapted for the musical, and how Cats the musical fits into the poet’s legacy as a Nobel Prize-winning modernist master.
Saturday February 11 at 7:00pm: Music Theatre and Arts Administration double major Alec Michael Ryan, who served as Assistant Director, will describe what he learned through the rehearsal process.
Sunday February 12 at 1:30pm: Dr. Amanda Chunco of the Environmental Studies Department investigates the consequences of our fascination with domesticated cats. Dr. Chunco will discuss Cats from the perspective of a wildlife biologist, and explore the impact of cats on the environment.
Talks on the Steps are free and open to the public, and last ten minutes. Talks take place in the McCrary Theatre lobby one half hour before the performance begins.
Cats is directed by Lynne Kurdziel Formato with musical direction by Ethan Andersen, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics based on T. S. Eliot’s book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The musical runs February 9 through 12 at 7:30pm, and also February 11 and 12 at 2:00pm.