Tuesday, June 6, through Saturday, June 24
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL
Lauded by DC Metro Theatre as "a fast-paced musical comedy" that's "vastly entertaining and perfect for kids (and grown-ups) of all ages," the area debut of Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude enjoys a June 6 through 24 run at Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, this delightful stage treat a purr-fect entertainment for fans of family musicals and the legendary comic strip created by Jim Davis.
With Davis himself co-writing the book alongside Michael J. Bobbitt and composer John L. Cornelius II supplying the music and lyrics, Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude is a new stage sensation inspired by everyone’s favorite orange, sarcastic, lasagna-loving tubby tabby, Garfield awakens to find that his birthday, obviously the most important day of the year, has fallen on a Monday. The horror! To make matters worse, all of his friends – Jon, Odie, Arlene, and even his nemesis Nermal – have completely forgotten it’s his big day. With only his beloved teddy bear Pookie understanding his disappointment, Garfield leaves the comforts of home feeling rejected. But he soon realizes that in the outside world, there’s no TV, the food is garbage (literally), and animal control is always just around the corner. In this all-ages treat boasting hilarity and catchy tunes, our grumpy hero must learn about the little things, such as the value of friendship, and the timeless adage “home is where the heart – and the food – is.”
Directing, choreographing, and set designing Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude is Circa '21 favorite Brad Hauskins, a star of the recent Grumpy Old Men: The Musical whose family productions for the theatre have included Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, A Year with Frog & Toad, and Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas. Another adored venue veteran, Shelley Walljasper serves as the show's music director, with additional members of Hauskins' creative team including costume designer Bradley Robert Jensen, stage manager and props designer Kendall McKasson, lighting designer and assistant stage manager Emmett Boedeker, sound designer and engineer Ben Takitch, production manager Jeremy Littlejohn, and scenic artist Becky Meissen.
Jeremy Littlejohn also portrays the Garfield musical's title character, his additional area acting credits including roles in the Mockingbird on Main's A Christmas Carol and Murder at Mistwell Manor. And with Abigail Graham both serving as the show's dance captain and portraying the sweetly empty-headed pooch Odie, the musical's cast is completed by Caitie Moss as Nermal, Sylvia Muchmore as Arlene, and T.J. Besler, double-cast as Garfield's owner Jon and a potentially nefarious animal-control officer.
Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude runs at the Rock Island dinner theatre June 6 through 24 with selected performances at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., admission is $8-9.50 for the show-only presentations, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)786-7733 extension 2 and visiting Circa21.com.