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Based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the now-infamous “Cats” debuted in the New London Theatre on May 11, 1981, making it the second longest-running Broadway show of all-time.

Don’t think London and New York gets all of that feline frenzy. Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s Thelma Gaylord Academy celebrates its 10th anniversary with a production of “Cats” Thursday through Saturday at Lyric’s Plaza Theatre stage.

Cristen Shepherd, public relations manager for Lyric Theatre, said there is much to look forward to with this student production, directed by Stephen Hilton.

“The performers are really excited about it. They’re trying to get away from the ’80s look,” she said. “Instead of the unitards, they’ve mixed it up with dresses and overalls, things that make more sense for kids to wear.”

Said Leslie Coffman, who plays Grizabella, “The costumes are amazing. They are phenomenal. I tried mine on the other day and couldn’t even tell it was myself.”

She said the cast members have been practicing since late August, and are ready to strut their stuff.

“There’s so much dance and choreography. The physicality of it is incredibly feline. It’s not like any other show,” Coffman said.

Shepherd said the makeup for the show is amazing, and heading that front is Brawna Gfeller and Reid Lunnon. The makeup masters had a bit of help from Lyric Academy Parents Support, the sub-organization comprised of academy parents. Jeffrey Meek, costume designer, gladly accepted their help as well. LAPS has worked tirelessly to help feed, clothe and paint their kittens.

Get out and support your hometown kitties, and enjoy one of the most popular musicals of all time.

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