See the record-breaking show June 14-19 at the Pioneer Center
CATS is returning to the Pioneer Center stage with eight nostalgic performances of the Tony Award-winning musical this June. The record-breaking show created by the iconic Andrew Lloyd Weber will run June 14-19, featuring both evening and matinee performances.
“Audiences across the globe have been inspired by CATS for decades because it has the incredible ability to rekindle the childlike imagination in all of us,” says Adam Cates, education and development manager at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. “The creativity transcends language barriers, and the athletic skill sets of the performers are astounding.”
This show can be enjoyed by the whole family, with children as young as five delighting in the furry costumes and animal-like dance numbers. At the same time, adults will rediscover the beloved music that has captivated the world, including one of the most recognizable songs in musical theater history, “Memory.”
“CATS is pure musical theater magic,” Cates says. “There has never been anything like it before or since.”
The story told is one of magic; it takes place over a single night, when a tribe of cats gathers to decide which one will have the opportunity to become reborn, performing and telling their stories along the way. The production features original music by Andrew Lloyd Weber (The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Sunset Boulevard) and original scenic and costume design by John Napier (Les Misérables). There also are updated elements to the show that bring it into the 21st century, including all-new lighting design by Natasha Katz (Aladdin), all-new sound design by Mick Potter, new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne (Phantom), and direction by Trevor Nunn (Les Misérables). The show’s original inspiration comes from 1939 poems by T.S. Eliot that Lloyd Weber set to music.
Since 1981, when the show first debuted in London, CATS has racked up seven Tony Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. It is hailed as the fourth-longest-running Broadway show in history and the sixth-longest-running West End of London show, totaling 21 years and more than 8,000 performances in London and 18 years and nearly 7,500 shows on Broadway. The musical has been performed in more than 30 countries and been translated into 15 languages.
The Reno shows are part of a North American tour traveling across the country, returning to Reno for the first time since November 2009.
“The original tagline on Broadway was ‘Now and Forever,’ and that sentiment still rings true,” Cates says. “This new revival production has fresh updates to the staging and technology that keep CATS as spectacular today as it was when it first premiered.”
Performances are part of the 2021-2022 Broadway Comes to Reno season at the Pioneer Center, marking a return to (at least semi-) normalcy after 18 months of pandemic shutdowns that turned the lights off at the local theater. “To come back after an extended closure with our biggest Broadway season ever feels like a dream come true for our team,” says Dennyse Sewell, The Pioneer’s executive director.
Tickets are now on sale for CATS and can be purchased on the website (Pioneercenter.com), by phone (775-434-1050), or in person at the box office (100 S. Virginia St., Reno). Single seats are available for as little as $40 per seat, and spaces are already limited for each of the eight scheduled performances.