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'Cats' on stage at South Carroll High School

Tatiana Lewis plays Victoria and Taylor Rieland plays Munkustrap in the musical "Cats" at South Carroll High School.
Tatiana Lewis plays Victoria and Taylor Rieland plays Munkustrap in the musical "Cats" at South Carroll High School.(Terry Zetlmeisl photo, Carroll County Times)

If you missed Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning musical "Cats" on Broadway during its 18-year run, the Stagelighters of South Carroll High School will offer a chance to see the second-longest-running show on Broadway with performances April 19-21.

In her directorial debut for the high school, Marcia Kunkel said this is the biggest production the school has ever done. Kunkel said, "The show is grander than what has been done in the past, as far as set, costumes, vocals and dance."

With a cast of 47, the show is completely told through music and dance with virtually no spoken dialogue between the songs.

Based on T.S. Eliot's book of poems, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," the show tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles.

Kunkel is the varsity volleyball coach at South Carroll and holds a master's degree in theater from New York University. She enlisted the help of friend and fellow theater enthusiast Randall Morris to choreograph the show.

The timing of the show has proved a bit challenging, as a 10-day spring break occurred in the two weeks before opening. "At first we worried about spring break in the middle of the rehearsal schedule, but the last two days we have seen a lot of hard work out of the kids. They are really committed to what they are doing," Morris said. "The rehearsals are going fantastically. The school started a dance program, so we had a pool of very skilled people to choose from."

The elaborate costumes were rented from the Mac-Haydn Theater in New York and from Cumberland Valley High School, said Production Assistant Rachel Staub, a 2011 South Carroll graduate.

And although there are no set changes, the junkyard set being constructed for the show is one of the most complex sets taken on at the school, Staub said.

For senior Taylor Rieland, who plays Munkustrap, this will be his last production at South Carroll and he is happy with the choice of shows. "I love it. I love the costumes, I love the set, I love the cast," he said. "It is more involved and with all vocals it's more complex than past shows and has a lot more energy."

The show will have evening performances at 7 o'clock April 19-21, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. April 21.

Tickets are general admission, $12 each, and are available at http://www.carrollk12.org/sch/students/clubs/stagelighters/default.asp and, if available, can be purchased at the door.

The school is at 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield. The phone number there is 410-751-3575.

Joining the Lions

If you are interested in helping those less fortunate, consider joining the Taylorsville-Winfield Lions Club.

The club meets on the second and fourth Monday at the Winfield Fire Hall.

Contact the membership chairman, Lion Gerry Stroter, at 410-875-4072 for more information.

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