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Courtesy of Nancy Peyton The cast of Southern Coalition for the Arts' upcoming production of "CATS" is pictured during a rehearsal for the show.

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LOGAN - "Cats," one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history, is set to be performed on the local stage.

Southern Coalition for the Arts is about to make some history of its own with the groundbreaking show, as this is the first time Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic will be performed in the area.

"We are so proud to be the first company anywhere around here to stage a show like this," said Rachel Noe-Maynard, president of the Arts. "This show made history and changed the face of theater as we know it. Logan County and southern West Virginia have never had an opportunity like this before."

Based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," the show is set among a larger-than-life junkyard playground.

The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year - the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

"Cats" received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony awards including Best Musical, and ran for 18 years.

Since its world premiere, "Cats" has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 15 languages and has been seen by more than 73 million people worldwide. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album.

Noe-Maynard, who is co-directing the show alongside Katie Murray and portrays Rumpleteazer, said it's been amazing to see so much local talent come together to put on this production.

"There is truly so much talent to be found in southern West Virginia," Noe-Maynard said. "This cast has worked incredibly hard over the last few months, making so many sacrifices to bring the best show possible to the stage. I'm proud of all they have done and can't wait for everyone to come out and see this show."

Performances will take place at 7 p.m. June 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22, with a showing at 3 p.m. June 9. All performances will take place at the Savas Kostas Performing Arts Center located at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College's Logan campus.

Presale tickets can be purchased from cast members for $10. They can also be purchased by calling 304-688-2075, online by visiting TheArtsWV on Facebook or at the door on performance nights.

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