San Mateo High Students Shine in 'Cats' the Musical

The beloved Broadway musical performed at Redwood City's Fox Theatre celebrated a cast of performers from the entire Bay Area.

The Fox Theatre in Redwood City has turned into a feline frenzy with the production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats.

Broadway by the Bay put on another complex musical with over two dozen cast members that enthralled the audience with “the most elaborate production the Fox Theatre has ever seen,” said Artistic Director Amanda Folena.

“This was definitely our Blockbuster show this season,” Folena said of the musical that debuted April 6.

All 25 performers brought Broadway’s second-longest running musical to life at the Fox Theatre with perfectly synchronized dance numbers and larger-than-life characters whose rich voices filled every crevice of the Theatre.

Grizbella’s final heart-wrenching “Memory” performance left the audience erupting in applause as actress Heather Orth belted out one of Broadway’s most famous songs.

The performance was also filled with memorable characters like the flamboyant, gyrating rocker Rum Rum Tugger, played by Jack Mosbacher a recent Stanford University graduate who was also an outfielder on the baseball team.

Behind the feline faces was an incredibly diverse cast.

“This was truly a Bay Area production,” Folena said. Cast members traveled to the Fox Theatre from San Francisco to Oakland to Walnut Creek.

San Mateo High School students Maggie Ek and Alex Rosenberg also appeared in the cast.  

“This was a huge accomplishment that took so much planning,” Folena said of the seven months leading up to the debut performance.

Forklifts were required to transport the machinery and stage sets into the theatre because some pieces were so large, Folena said.

The blockbuster effects were matched by an equally mesmerizing orchestra, who was the invisible star of the show. The music timed perfectly with the cast’s lines and enhanced the emotion on stage.

The cats creeping down the aisle ways had audience members on the edge of their seats from the opening scene.

The feline gesticulations suspended audience’s knowledge that these cats were actually humans—and that the audience wasn’t actually on Broadway watching one of the most famous musicals of all time.

"It's so wonderful to hook in kids to this show," Folena said. "It really builds up their imagination."

There are three more performances of Cats on April 19,20 and 21. Visit the Fox Theatre’s website for more information. 


Tell us in the comments section below: Have you seen the musical Cats? What did you think of it? 

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