Rocking Rum Tug Tugger Joins Cat Company for “Cats” Return to Saenger | Arts
In TS Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, one feline that isn’t practical is the Rum Tum Tugger.
With rock star diva quality all the way to the end of her hairy tail, this cat is a “cat”, for sure. The role is no easy task, but Zach Bravo dresses up every night and brings the faint-inducing hairball to life in one of the most popular theatrical shows of all time, performed at the Saenger Theater in the Tuesday December 14 to 19 as part of the Broadway in New Orleans series.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation of Eliot’s book has been around since the early ’80s (older than young Bravo) and that was long before the New York native had a chance to see it. In fact, the show was in its Broadway rebirth in the late teens of this century.
“The first time I saw ‘Cats’ was the revival,” Bravo said, in a telephone interview on a bus bound for South Bend, Indiana, to attend. . “I was in second or junior at university.
“I had seen the staged version of the film (1998) and fell in love with it.”
Bravo is a graduate of LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and Pace University, a triple threat actor, singer and dancer.
“With ‘Cats’ in particular, you get it all. It’s a triple threat show. It’s definitely in my back alley,” he said.
Bravo dresses up each night to play the double roles of Bill Bailey and Rum Tum Tugger. The 45-minute make-up session before the show allows her to express her artistic ability.
“We do our own makeup,” he said. “We were taught by… one of the make-up artists for the Broadway revival.”
As he begins the series as Bill, Bravo transforms with “more sparkle and glam” into the spotlighted Tugger, a character he believes deserves kudos for his generosity.
“It might be hard to see in him, but there is a real side to Rum Tug Tugger,” Bravo said, “if you really look at his heart throughout the show.” But, the comedian is quick to point out, “he can definitely be a handful.”
With a talent like Bravo’s, it might be easy to see him as a handful too, but he deftly notes “I feel like I’m a natural goofball,” and it works for Tugger.
The show takes place at the 1111 Canal St. Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $ 35. saengernola.com
Ireland’s Magdalene laundries serve as the backdrop for the upcoming “Eclipsed” production at Tulane University, which starts on Friday and runs through Tuesday.
Written by Patricia Burke Brogan, the story takes place in 1963, a pivotal period of social change for women and babies in laundries, often run by Roman Catholic orders as a place of rehabilitation for “fallen women.”
The conditions and treatment of women and children, often harsh and sometimes even fatal, is the centerpiece of the story.
The show’s organizers are also tapping into current cultural situations as a mirror of this era and will organize a “response” after Monday’s performance with the designers and Assistant Professor Monica Payne, director.
The Drama and Dance Department’s production is part of the Jubilee commitment “to present works by and representing historically marginalized groups and genres.”
Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Tuesday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lupine Theater, Dixon Performing Arts Center Annex 150, Newcomb Circle.
Tickets start at $ 14. artsliberal.tulane.edu.
“Girls in the land of toys”: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; Playmakers Theater, 19106 Playmakers Road, Covington. A feud is brewing in Mother Goose Land between the miser Uncle Barnaby and the handsome Alan over who will win the hand of Mistress Mary Quite Contrary on this holiday show, directed by Jennifer Patterson. Santa will be present during intermissions and special drinks will be available. Tickets start at $ 15. playmakersinc.com.
“The best Christmas contest ever”: 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until December 19; Slidell Little Theater, 2024 Nellie Drive, Slidell. What happens when the worst kids in town smash the Sunday School production of the traditional Christmas production? There is panic at the contest, and it is spreading throughout the city. Directed by Lee Dukes. Tickets start at $ 22. slidelllittleheatre.org.
“Elf the Musical”: 7:30 p.m. Friday to Saturday plus December 16, 2 p.m. Sunday to December 19; Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, 325 Minor St., Kenner. Based on the movie but with more songs and antics, the show features a human pal, raised by Santa’s elves, as he makes his way into the “real” world to find his father and possibly save Christmas for everyone. Gary Rucker takes the helm as director with Mitchell Kogan as Buddy, Louis Dudoussat as papa Walter and David Hoover as Santa Claus. Tickets start at $ 36. rivertowntheaters.com.
“A swinging Christmas”: 11:45 a.m. brunch on Fridays, Tuesdays and December 17 and 22; 2 p.m. Sunday to December 19; 7 p.m. on Fridays and December 18; BB’s Stage Door Canteen, National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine St., New Orleans. The Victory Belles host a holiday show filled with “Sleigh Ride”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Jingle Bells” and many other songs, with a seasonal sparkle. Tickets start at $ 37. nationalww2museum.org.
“The Thanksgiving Game”: 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, 2 p.m. Sunday to December 19; Southern Rep, Design room, Monroe Hall 630, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. A regional premiere, the satirical comedy about four whites formulating a school play about the first Thanksgiving for Native American Heritage Month, purporting to be politically correct. Jeannette Godoy directs. Tickets start at $ 10. sudrep.com.
“This Christmas … Go Elf Yourself”: 7pm Friday and Saturday, 2pm Sunday; Peak Theater, 767 Robert Boulevard, Slidell. A holiday spectacle filled with young faces and fresh ideas, the story follows the Jingle Jangles in their search for new talent, with a storyline that appeals to all ages. Tickets start at $ 22. theatredecoupe.com.
“A very Merry Spectacular Christmas”: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday; 30 by Ninety Theater, 880 Lafayette St., Mandeville. The multi-age cast brings a multitude of talent to the stage for the seasonal show. In addition, there is milk and cookies at every performance. Tickets start at $ 22 30byninety.com.