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Open letter to Troika LLC 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:09 pm
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Location: Vallejo,CA
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i'm surpised Cameron Mackintosh hasn't yelled at Troika fo this. I know from reading an interview he did w/ someone that he does NOT liike to downsize the experience when it comes to touring


Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:07 pm
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:09 pm
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Location: Vallejo,CA
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here's a link to the website wich is responsible for the ugliness known as "the Bouncy Set"

http://www.3dair.com/stagesets-cats.php


Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:40 pm
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Tony Winner
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Well, from what I've heard (and I could be wrong), Gillian Lynne is the only one of the original team that still looks after Cats. She tries to see the US tour at least once a year or so, meet the cast, and make sure the dancing is up to par.

But yeah, that bouncy set is God-awful. Anyone wanna sneak backstage with a sharpened screwdriver? :twisted: All kidding aside, I'm surprised RUG didn't yank Troika's licence for this as they're usually pretty strict (still) about their touring shows. Anyone who caught the revival of Evita knows this, it was EXACT. IIRC that tour is being run by Troika too. So why the hell can't they do this with a show that tours and still sells out 24/7? #-o :evil:

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Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:46 pm
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Fresh Face
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 1:34 pm
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Post AGREE!
Reading these posts, I have to agree with you all. I was a big fan of the Broadway production and get very angry when I see people strip it down. I was in a professional production of Cats and learned the full original choreography and direction. I am recreating the original production, Misto flying in and all at The Villagers Theatre in Franklin, NJ. www.villagerstheatre.net. You can purchase tickets on line.
This is a small intimate space and the theatre is doing their best to have a set that fills the entire theatre. Once again you will be sitting next to junk and really have the feel that we all felt in The Winter Garden.
That being said just a warning....
Pekes and Pollicles is cut from this production. I know this seems to be a sore spot, but it was done to control the run time of the show. As many people love this number a great many have complained about it dragging Act 1. Agree or disagree, I wanted to put that out there. Also we are using the Mungo/Rump DVD cut. This actually was done merely because it is a very difficult number to get the actors through it and we wanted to keep the integrity of the number. I believe this cut was made on Broadway towards the end of the run. You all might know more about that then I do.
Anyway, besides those to points, this will be a recreation of the original the way we all remember it.


Wed May 06, 2009 1:47 pm
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Tony Winner
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AFAIK Troika's the one who sliced out half of M+R. I could be wrong, though...I personally don't like the DVD cut OR the current one. It virtually destroys a really good number, and other than the double somersault at the end, seems no more difficult than any other number in the show. The UK tour and most of the European versions still keep the full number. If they can we Americans can too. :?

As for Pekes, some critics said it should have been yanked in previews. If it had been we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. I don't agree on cutting numbers just to shorten runtime.

I'm pleased to hear, though, that you'll be replicating the original choreography, special effects, and all the rest. ;) I live in Phoenix, though, so unfortunately I'll miss it. It'd be great if you put up some vids of your production on YouTube when you can. ;)

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Wed May 06, 2009 3:22 pm
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Broadway Legend
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The Aweful Battle only drags if it isn't done right. It's a chance for some really silly fun. Without that, you have to wait until Growltiger in the second act of such a display.

The hardest parts of MJ&RT are always left in. The "working together" part is the hardest to sing and dance at the same time, yet they always cut the easier parts.


Wed May 06, 2009 5:29 pm
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Young Hoofer
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Quote:
With regionals I don't have that guarantee, so I'd rather not spend the money on an unknown quantity.


I couldn't agree more! I would gladly shell out $$ for tickets to a quality production...but with the uncertainty of regionals I will pass. Having seen the original productions I don't think I would be happy with some of the current tours. Not to say the casts are bad, but when the set and acts are cut...well I feel I would be missing out. It's like remembering the most delicious dessert and then being handed a twinkie #-o

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Fri May 08, 2009 4:16 am
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Doesn't Troika also use non-union actors? Not that I'm a big fan of unions but from my experience the actors can make or break a show. I think Equity can field the best talent.

I think the toughest role to fill is Tugger. Troika seems to cast it wrongly so many times. Stan Stanley is the best Tugger I've seen so far (other than the video). Only one time did I think they missed on Misto. The guy was very heavy set and had a body shape more like that of a barrel. In his costume he looked more like a penguin than a cat. He would have made a good Bustopher Jones and not need a fat suit. And to hear Tugger sing

He is quiet and small
He is black
From the ears to the tip of his tail
He can creep through the tiniest crack
He can walk on the narrowest rail

and look at this guy...well...it gives new meaning to the idea of "suspension of disbelief". 8O

But other than that, I've liked Troika's casting and Griz has always been good.

But even Equity lets us down. Recent tours of "Avenue Q" and "Mamma Mia!" had very uninspiring casts. :?

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Sun May 10, 2009 2:59 pm
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I would add that I wish they would use all of Bustopher Jones. My favorite part is when they sing

In the season of venison I give my ben'son
To the Pothunter's succulent bones
And just before noon's not a moment too soon
To drop in for a drink at the Drones

which luckily is in the video but I don't recall it from the touring show.

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Sun May 10, 2009 3:26 pm
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Tony Winner
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That's because the film used the UK version of the song. Broadway never had that verse in there, probably because the lyrics would thoroughly baffle Americans. Don't forget these were the days before Google. ;)

AFAIK it has NEVER been in the US version, like the extra Gumbie verse, the extra Old D verse, or the 'tap-off' between Gumbie and Misto. That one was yanked during previews.

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Sun May 10, 2009 4:12 pm
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darkmage wrote:
That's because the film used the UK version of the song. Broadway never had that verse in there, probably because the lyrics would thoroughly baffle Americans. Don't forget these were the days before Google. ;)

AFAIK it has NEVER been in the US version, like the extra Gumbie verse, the extra Old D verse, or the 'tap-off' between Gumbie and Misto. That one was yanked during previews.


Jenny and Pouncival have a tap-off on the Vienna version. A couple of others too I think.


Sun May 10, 2009 5:33 pm
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Tony Winner
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It was in the London version and the French as well. It was just never in the US version at all.

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Sun May 10, 2009 6:17 pm
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