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CATS: America's favorite family musical

February 8, 2008

Contact: Bryan Leonard, 217/206-8284, leonard.bryan@uis.edu

The only production in North America is back

SPRINGFIELD – CATS, the show that revolutionized musical theatre, is coming to Sangamon Auditorium at UIS in Springfield for two performances, March 3 and 4.  Tickets are available at the Sangamon Auditorium box office, by phone at 217/206- 6160 or 800/207-6960 or at www.sangamonauditorium.org.

Produced by Troika Entertainment, LLC, this national tour of CATS is the only production in North America sanctioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber. With original direction by Trevor Nunn and choreography by Gillian Lynne this is the CATS credited with the British invasion of Broadway. The national tour recently celebrated its 25th anniversary season.

On May 11, 1981, CATS opened in Great Britain at the New London Theatre in the West End. Eight years later it celebrated its first important milestone – 3,358 performances, making CATS the longest-running musical in the history of British theatre. CATS played its final performance in London on its 21st birthday, May 11, 2002.

In 1982 CATS opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City and continued to live up to its motto, "Now and Forever."  On June 19, 1997, CATS became the longest-running musical on Broadway.  It ended its 18-year run there on September 10, 2000.

Based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, CATS won seven Tony Awards in 1983, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Lighting, and Best Costumes.

In October 1991, CATS became the longest continuously touring show in American theatre history. Five continents, 26 countries, over 8.5 million audience members, and 25 years later, CATS is still America's most-loved family musical. Celebrating not only 25 years but the birth of the musical spectacular, CATS is still revolutionary and awe inspiring.

Now that it was been seen by millions worldwide, it is time for central Illinois audiences to celebrate with their families the magic, the mystery, the wonder of CATS.

Sangamon Auditorium is located at the University of Illinois at Springfield and hosts more than 120 performances annually.  Also home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area, with a seating capacity of 2,018.  Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas.  The auditorium administrative offices can be reached at (217) 206-6150 or by e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

UIS: Creating a Brilliant Future



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