One of the biggest hits in theatrical history, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical CATS will join Ashland's 20th season this summer. CATS offers a magical and moving glimpse into the lives of fascinating felines. The musical runs July 26-Aug. 10 at Ashland Productions in the Maplewood Community Center. Tickets are available online at

Based on T.S. Eliot's whimsical collection of poems, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," the musical brings together a tribe of Jellicle Cats on a moonlit evening, who must make the "Jellicle choice" to decide which of them will ascend to the mysterious Heaviside Layer to be reborn.

The musical debuted on Broadway in 1982 where it won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album. Opening at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre, it ran for 7,485 performances and 18 years.

With high school students from more than 20 east metro communities, the cast includes Woodbury and Cottage Grove residents: Talon Krummel Walter (Rum Tum Tugger), Connor Hestwood (Mungojerrie), Kelsey Shinkle (Rumpleteazer), Ashley Myers (Sillabub), Joshua Lester (Alonzo), Ben Gutzman (Coricopat), Lauren Kaiser (Tantomile), Kevin Phan (Bill Bailey), Brenna Germscheid (Plato), Catherine Roddy (Electra), and Anna Avent, Ava Bartel, Delaney Tatarka, Elena Gordon and Izzy Murphy (Ensemble). The design and creative team includes Rob Sutherland (director); Josiah Hendrickson (scenic design); Meredith Arbuckle (costume design); Jacob Lee Hofer (lighting design); Born into Royalty (sound design); Derick Rehurek (vocal director); Emily Nies, Dylan Rugh and Jack Scharrer (choreographers); and Melissa Faust (stage manager).

Tickets range from $12-$22, with discounts available for groups of 15 or more. For more information, visit

If you go...

What: CATS

When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, July 26-27, Aug. 2-3 and Aug. 9-10; 2 p.m. Sundays, July 28 and Aug. 4 and 10.

Where: Maplewood Community Center, 2100 White Bear Ave. N., Maplewood

Cost: $12-$22; parking is free

More info: