Sashay Your Way to PAC NYC for “Cats: The Jellicle Ball”

06/10/2024 in
Sashay Your Way to PAC NYC for “Cats: The Jellicle Ball”

The crossover event of the summer you didn’t know you needed is at PAC NYC. “Cats: The Jellicle Ball” is a new performance at PAC NYC choreographed by Arturo Lyons and Omari Wiles and directed by Zhailon Levingston and Bill Rauch, running from June 13 to July 14. The modern reimagining of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical (which is famously based on T. S. Eliot’s book about feline psychology and sociology), is set in a nightclub and shines a light on gay ballroom culture (think voguing and death drops versus classical foxtrots and tangoes) which began in New York City’s queer Black and Latinx communities some 50 years ago. 

But perhaps the bigger twist is that, well, there aren’t any cats. Instead, the titular “cats” are entirely human (as are all performers at the PAC, as far as we know), unlike the original Broadway iteration where the main characters are portrayed as (terrifying) felines. Instead, “cat is a metaphor for their performance alter ego,” according to a PAC NYC promo video. So, instead of tails and whiskers, expect to see your faves like Mr. Mistoffelees and Old Deuteronomy serving fierce human fashions. The new musical features the “Cats” songs you know set to brand new beats and a totally different kind of catwalk. 

Special post-show programming will take place on June 23 and 27. A June 23 discussion titled “Paris Is Still Burning” will feature pioneers, legends and stars from the house ballroom community to discuss the history and impact of ballroom culture in mainstream media today moderated by Mother Jocelyn Milan. Members of the show’s cast and creative team will discuss the inspiration, themes, and creative process in a discussion after the June 27 show. Buy your tickets here.

photo: Mark J. Franklin, courtesy PAC NYC

Tags: cats: the jellicle ball, pac nyc

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