Circle Theatre hosts the Jellicle Ball as “CATS” opens its season

Those famous "CATS" are getting ready for the Jellicle Ball set to come to Circle Theatre this month.
Those famous “CATS” are getting ready for the Jellicle Ball set to come to Circle Theatre this month.

Circle Theatre will open its Main Stage season with a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “CATS” starting on Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 the Aquinas College’s Performing Arts Center, 1607 Robinson Rd. SE.

Under the direction of Todd Avery, the 2016 Audience Choice Musical will take audience members on a visually breathtaking journey filled with heartfelt song, dance and impressive acrobatics paired with stunning makeup and elaborate costuming. “CATS” tells the story of the annual gathering of Jellicle cats at which one time, one special cat is selected to ascend to the Heaviside layer.  A true musical theatre phenomenon, “CATS” is one of the longest-running musicals in both West End and Broadway history.

“This season is particularly exciting because we are truly offering something for everyone and we’re also the first community theater in Grand Rapids to put on a production of ‘CATS’,” says Lynne Brown-Tepper, Managing Director of Circle Theatre. “The talent of both the performers and the production staff this season is one of the best I’ve seen in all of my 16 years at Circle.”

Audience members looking to delve even further into the “CATS” experience can “Meet the Cats” at a special meet-and-greet session with members of the cast following performances on May 7, 15 and 20. “Meet the Cats” tickets are $5 and include a mix and mingle for “paw-tographs” and a special photo op with select felines on the stage. Tickets are limited and can be purchase at the box office or online.

“Circle Theatre feels like home to so many people and we want to extend that to our audiences through our performances,” said Director Todd Avery. “You’ll see powerful acrobatics, plenty of awe-inspiring makeup and costuming choices and some incredibly talented vocalists fully embodying their feline character.  Audiences won’t want to miss any of it.”

2016 celebrates Circle’s 64th year of producing plays and musicals for West Michigan audiences. Other Main Stage productions this season include comedic farce “Perfect Wedding,” musical comedy “First Date” heartfelt comedic play “Over the River and Through the Woods,” jukebox spoof comedy musical “Rock of Ages.” Circle Theatre attendees can also look forward to the Magic Circle family production of classic tale “Charlotte’s Web.” Circle’s unique and diverse Summer Concert Series performances include “Any Way You Want It: Arena Rock Anthems,” “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough: The Music of Michael Jackson,” “Made in the Mitten: Michigan Music Greats” and “Classic to Cosmopolitan: Nashville Past & Present.” All performances will be held at Aquinas College Performing Arts Center.

“CATS” shows are May 6 and 7, 11-14, 18-21 at 7:30 p.m. and May 15 at 5 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 616-456-6656 or visit Circle’s website