Rough night last night! Torrential rains and pounding winds slammed through town and took out the lights! The power’s back, (reset the blinking clocks), all is calm this morning. Except for me! Let me tell ya about this cast for Paramount’s CATS that is a force of nature in itself! Leading the tribe will be Rhett Guter as “Munkustrap” who has played our stage in the roles of “Tommy Djilas” in THE MUSIC MAN and “Al De Luca” in A CHORUS LINE, most recently appearing in Chicago Shakes’ GYPSY as “Tulsa.” Our RENT’s “Angel,” Sawyer Smith, returns as “Rum Tum Tugger” with sex kittens, Amber Mak and Kristen Noonan making their Paramount debuts as “Bombalurina” and “Demeter.” Debuts here also include premiere dansuer Joe Musiel as the magical “Mistoffelles,” beautiful Lizzie MacKenzie as the white cat “Victoria”, ballerina Kayla Harley, stunning as “Tantomile” as is angel voiced “Silibub”, Olivia Renteria (who danced so beautifully in THE MUSIC MAN here and appears in Goodman’s BRIGADOON). Dynamic Duo, Laura Savage (starred as Peggy Sawyer in Paramount’s 42ND ST.) and Jonny Stein (TimeLine Theatre’s JUNO) will fly through the air as “Rumpleteaser” and “Mungojerrie” with the likes of young Sam Gardner as “Tumblebrutus.” From our A CHORUS LINE’s “Kristine,” gorgeous Jaclyn Burch will dance “Cassandra” while very tall & handsome Bryan Howard Conner debuts as menacing “Macavity.” Show stopping turns razzle dazzle with Liam Quealy as “Skimbleshanks” The Railway Cat, Holly Stauder’s “Jellylorum,” Ericka Mac’s “Jennyanydots,” George Keating’s “Gus” The Theatre Cat and golden voiced Andy Planck’s patriarchal “Old Deuteronomy.” Jaw dropping dance sensations Brian Duncan “Coricopat,” Terrance Martin “Pouncival,” and James Stevko “Alonzo” defy gravity enhanced by the power vocals of Jacqui Graziano, Molly Kral, Brandon Chandler and Paramount’s own “Chris” from MISS SAIGON, Brandon Moorhead! And now, ladies and gentlemen, I am very proud to announce that the role of “Grizabella,” The Glamour Cat, will be portrayed by spectacular singer/actress Lauren Villegas. Ms. Villegas has risen through the ranks of ensemble and supporting roles over the past few seasons all over Chicago, (and notably here at Paramount), to now shine as this production’s star and leading lady! Lauren’s voice is incomparable, powerfully emotional and technically brilliant and an actress of great warmth and vulnerability. Congratulations to Lauren and the entire company! Thank you for all the hard work that got you here! And, Dear Reader, I am so excited for you to be our audience for an unforgettable new production that opens Season Four of Paramount’s Broadway Series!

Whoa, I am late…love & thanks!