“Pete the Cat” will slink into the Lincoln City Cultural Center this Thursday and Friday, March 15 and 16, bringing a rock ‘n roll treat to audiences packed with hundreds of local schoolchildren.
The Theatreworks USA musical, based on the popular series of children’s books by Kimberly and James Dean, will play to 750 Lincoln City students from kindergarten through fourth grades — with some tickets for the Friday, March 16, performances also available for the general public.
Cultural center Executive Director Niki Price said that while some Theatreworks USA plays are designed for older kids, “Pete the Cat” is aimed squarely at pre-schoolers through third grade.
“This is a great opportunity for parents to bring their children to the theater, for what might be their first sit-down performance,” she said. “These musicals have the power to ignite the imaginations of pre-readers and early readers, inspiring them to learn and laugh their way into literature.”
When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners — and boy, are they square. But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up, so the minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking. The whole family, that is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on Earth. As the end of school approaches, Jimmy has a lot of tests,\ and the last thing he needs is some groovy cat in his life, changing his family and turning everything upside down. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to help Jimmy conquer second grade art, and along the way, they both learn something new about inspiration.
“Pete the Cat” features book and lyrics by Sarah Hammond and music by Will Aronson. It was originally directed and choreographed by Dan Knechtges, and features costumes by Jennifer Caprio and sets by Rob Odorisio. After a brief New York City area tour, “Pete the Cat” began its national tour in fall 2016, and has played in venues large and small across the country ever since.
The Lincoln City performances are made possible through the Studio to School partnership, also known as Music is Instrumental, a grant-funded program, led by the Siletz Bay Music Festival and supported by the Oregon Community Foundation.
Pete and co. will take to the stage at 9 am and 10:45 am on Friday, March 16, in the auditorium of the cultural center at 540 NE Hwy. 101.
Tickets, $5 in advance and $7 at the door for all ages four and up, are available at www.lincolncity-culturalcenter.org or by calling 541-994-9994.
Home-schooling families and parents with pre-school age kids can purchase tickets and attend along with the school groups.