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CHS students to perform ‘Cats,’ the musical

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Crawfordsville drama students are set to present a Broadway favorite.

Directed and choreographed by Lisa Warren, her furry cast will don the makeup and costumes Thursday, Friday and Sunday that have helped to make the musical Cats a classic.

“Last year I did a chorus line, which is an ensemble show much like Cats where there isn’t one lead person, but many characters for many different students to play. So I wanted to do another show that was like that,” Warren said. “We had a lot of fun with that.”

Warren has a history in music and dance instruction. Together with sister Deborah Kochert of Dance by Deborah, the musical Cats holds a special place for the pair.

“I also chose Cats because, when the movie in the ‘90s came out, I enjoyed the music from it as a dance teacher with Dance by Deborah,” Warren said. “I would use the CD a lot for warmups and classes, and I thought it’d be fun.

“It’s also a one-costume, one-set show,” she added. “That is a little helpful for our budget. We needed to find a show that wouldn’t cost a lot of money to put on.”

Playing the lead role of Grizabella will be junior Gracie Leonard.

Leonard said the costumes, in particular, brings the performance to life.

“I just think it’s a very unique show and it’s cool that we’re the first people to do it in Crawfordsville,” she said. “That just makes it more meaningful to me, and it’s very interesting that we’re all turning into cats. We won’t be people anymore. We’re cats once the show starts.”

Involved with theater since middle school, Leonard has performed lead roles before, such as the character Rafiki from the Lion King.

“It’s really fun to pretty much form a family with the other cast,” she said. “I love it.”

Roughly 30 students will take part in the play. Each will wear makeup and costumes even the biggest Cats fans will find familiar.

The show will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The third performance is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets will be available at the door and are set at $8 for adults and $4 for students. Children ages four and younger will get in for free.

“Being on stage and being able to shine in an element that isn’t their everyday life, and being in an environment where you don’t have to compete where you can work together to produce something amazing — that’s why I do this,” Warren said. “Just seeing the joy in their faces and expressions when they realize ‘we did it’ is just one reason why I do what I do.”

Contact Crawfordsville High School at 765-362-2340 for more information, or visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Crawfordsville-High-School.

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