ALTON - Alton Middle School's theater department is taking a walk on the wild side for their upcoming performances of their spring musical, CATS. Performances will take place this Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, at 7 p.m in the newly dedicated Cliff Davenport Auditorium at AMS, located at 220 College Ave. in Alton.

Tickets for admission will be $6 each for both students and adults. 

Under the direction of Paul Herbert Pitts, CATS will enchant audiences with its incredible story of the Jellicle cats, who gather each year to decide which cat will be reborn. The production features music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and is based on T.S. Elliot's book, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." 

This production is set at a massive scale, with over 70 actors, dancers, chorus and technical crew members. The magnitude of these performances will stun audiences, not only with the sheer number of people involved, but also with the intricate details put in to each and every costume, make-up design, set decoration and lighting design. 

CATS will have members of its audience tapping its toes to the pop and jazz-influenced musical numbers. Not only will surprises placed throughout the musical shock audiences, but Macie Miller's performance as Grizabella and her heartfelt rendition of "Memory" will also certainly captivate the crowd.

Angela Perez and Emily Enskat took on the task of choreographing the cast while Lori Sadler and Amy Hanson serve as publicity house managers. Alice Reif supervise the tech and props crew. Diane Shobe took charge of the intricate costume and make up design, making sure every whisker was in the right place, and Jim Adams designed the set. 

CATS stars Macie Miller as Grizabella, Joseph Whiteside as Old Deuteronomy, Elias Hill as Munkustrap, Ethan Plate as Alonzo, Cora Lucas as Jellylorum, Aaliyah Jones as Demeter, Victor Hull as Rum Tum Tugger, Bryan Richardson as Macavity/Rumpus Cat, Haley Hansen as JennyAnyDots/Gumbie Cat, Allison McCarty as Jemima, Morgan Palmer as Bomborlurina, Hallie Lewis as Victoria, Alyssa Eagleton as Mr. Mistoffolees, Jaron Ammons as Bustopher Jones, Diego Perez as Mungojerrie, Katie Rich and Sophia Kumagai as Rumpleteazer, Cooper Haynes as Gus, Kyle Neace as Skimbleshanks, TyRia Rounds as Etcetera, and Trevor Eagleton as The Man/T. S. Elliot. 

Ana Bagwill, Josie Giertz, Caroline Hussey, JyRyn Hinton, Isabella Hall, Taylor Holtzclaw, Angelica Jones, Sophia Kumagai, Ellie Levi, Kamryn Mason El, Caitlyn Neely, Daeshana Petty, Alexia Paulin, Quin Price, Lucas Rulo, Katie Rich, Yadan Shourd, Cadence Trask, Ebony Webster, and Evan Valladares work together to comprise the vocal and dance ensemble for this weekend's performances.

Ten other young students, including Devin Sadler, Miles Wrischnik, Kaelee Shewmake, James Hull, Kennedy Fuller, Exzavier Pierson, Meredith Rulo, Gracie Hetge, Alysa Dutko, Sabrina Coy, and Christopher Jones, make up the children's ensemble, properly named the KITTENS, as well as the dancing mice and beetles. 

The production would not be possible without the hard work of the technical crew, including student director Sam Clark, tech student director Gabriel Hayes, student assistant tech director Wesley Dutko, student stage manager Olivia Spangler, student light board operator Jovon Ammons, student LED light operator Logan Gaffney, student curtain operator Jeff Frankford, student spotlight operators Garret Billingsley and Andrey Bickley, student stage floor manager Ella Maberry, and student assistant stage floor manager Jhalil Rhodes. 

Of course, making the world of CATS come to life would be extremely difficult without the work of the tech painters, builders and set movers, including Kayleigh Butler, Olivia Buck, Aiden Draper, Ashley Durham, Mia Eickhoff, E’Niya Fields, Will Hussey, Luke "Michael" Jacobs, Bryant Johnson, Blake Markel, James Spencer, Austin Steward, Spencer Steele, Max Ontis, and Austin Walsh. 

Maddie Darr, Addison McCarty and Shannon Malone worked diligently to ensure that the cast are looking their feline best with their technical make-up and paint skills. 

To contact Madelaine Gerard, contact madelaine@riverbender.com or call 618-465-9850 at ext. 235.

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