‘Cats’ opens in Appleton this week

    ‘Cats’ opens in Appleton this week

    APPLETON, Wis. — One other award-winning Broadway musical is dancing into Wisconsin this week.

    “Cats” follows a tribe of cats, referred to as the “Jellicles.” Annually, the clan of kitties makes the “Jellicle selection,” deeming one cat to be reborn and have a brand new life. Previous Deuteronomy is the well-respected, elder cat who makes the final word choice.

    ‘Cats’ opens in Appleton this week

    Sammy Fossum is making his nationwide tour debut as Alonzo in “Cats.” (Courtesy of “Cats”)

    Sammy Fossum is making his nationwide tour debut as Alonzo in “Cats.” We caught up with him earlier than the present:

    Spectrum Information 1: What sparked your curiosity in “Cats?”

    Fossum: I first noticed “Cats” in 2017 on Broadway on a visit with my highschool. We really had a grad from my highschool within the present… We noticed the present and the subsequent day we received a grasp class from [the alum]… It was a tremendous expertise and I used to be so captivated by the dancing within the present. I had by no means seen something prefer it.

    Spectrum Information 1: You’re nonetheless in school, learning dance at Shenandoah Conservatory. How is the stability between your training and your profession?

    Fossum: I auditioned my junior 12 months, and after I received the job I talked to a number of my professors and we made the choice that this is able to be nice for me and my skilled improvement. So, proper now, I’m on a one-year hiatus from faculty. I’m returning within the fall as a senior after which graduating within the winter.

    It was form of a scary dialog to have as a result of I used to be lacking a few week of lessons only for the audition in New York… All of the professors are very supportive of us getting out into the actual world and never ready till we graduate to take action. I did obtain a number of assist from my professors, from the admins and my friends. Lacking faculty for per week is demanding, however I had a lot assist and encouragement to pursue this.

    One in every of our jazz professors, Shylo Martinez, toured with the present when she was 16. She has all the time been a mentor for me all through my time at Shenandoah. I had been speaking to her all through the entire course of about contracts, auditions, simply “Cats” generally.

    Spectrum Information 1: Leaping over slightly bit, “Cats” is such a visually beautiful present. I’d love to listen to about your routine on tour.

    Fossum: At first, the make-up took me like an hour and a half to do each night time however fortunately it’s gotten slightly shorter since then.

    I’ll normally present up on the venue round two hours early. That’s after I’ll get began on my make-up; I’ll do my wig prep, placed on my wig cap after which I’ll begin my make-up. Now it’s normally round 30 to 40 minutes. I’ve really grown to get pleasure from it loads… It’s nearly meditative.

    After that I’ll begin a bodily heat up, approach workout routines, some cardio and power work. Then I’ll prep my two water bottles I’ve on both aspect of the stage. We now have raise name… After that we would do a mic test if we’re shifting into the theater for the primary time but when not I’ll begin getting in costume. Wig name is 10 minutes to curtain, so when there’s 10 minutes left earlier than the present begins, I’ll go to the wig group, get my wig on… Do any ending touches on my make-up, do some vocal heat ups after which I’m just about prepared for the present.

    (Courtesy of Matthew Murphy)

    Spectrum Information 1: Inform us in regards to the character you painting in “Cats.”

    Fossum: Alonzo is without doubt one of the elder members of the tribe. He’s form of larger up when it comes to authority and management.

    Every cat has been assigned three completely different phrases to explain them. Alonzo’s are useless, unsure and brava. The humorous factor with these phrases is that “useless” and “unsure” are form of contradictory, so it’s been a cool journey to go on, exploring these completely different adjectives, what they imply to me and the way they present up in Alonzo’s actions… It’s form of an authoritative place Alonzo has, however he’s additionally form of timid and not sure of himself… He goes on a fairly cool private journey.

    Spectrum Information 1: What’s your favourite a part of the present?

    Fossum: The jellicle ball, which is the massive, lengthy, dance celebration that we do on the very finish of Act I. It’s grueling. It’s lengthy and it’s troublesome however the choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, the athleticism and the sweetness that’s encapsulated inside the entire piece is a lot enjoyable to carry out each night time and so rewarding.

    Spectrum Information 1: What do you hope audiences take away from the present?

    Fossum: There’s an enormous theme of acceptance and progress that comes with “Cats” however I feel a number of the attraction that “Cats” has simply comes from the enduring choreography and music.

    “Cats” runs on the Fox Cities Performing Arts Heart from March 24 to 26. For extra info, click on right here.