“Cats Talk Back” Opens

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“Cats Talk Back” Opens

January 10 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

It’s been a long dry spell thanks to the pandemic, but the theater is finally back in Key West! And the Red Barn will open its new season with a special show you won’t want to miss.
What you’ll be watching is Cats Talk Back, the critically-acclaimed mock-docu-comedy by New York’s celebrated young playwright, Bess Wohl, which opens the Red Barn Theatre’s stellar 42nd season of bright and brilliant comedies.
The play will be presented outdoors under the stars in the Red Barn’s expansive courtyard, and run from January 10 through January 29, 2022. All curtains are at 8 pm.
Critics call it “a winner…funny, poignant, and observant…” (Backstage) and “…a bubbly, easy-going treat of theatre…” (Time Out). You’ll call it wonderful.
The magic of the play’s unique concept – an interview session with several former cast members of Cats, one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history – lies in its realism. That realism is effected through the panel discussion’s moderator, a respected member of the theatrical community…in this case, Murphy Davis, one of Key West’s best-known theater directors. The use of Davis as the facilitator of the on-stage discussion blurs the lines of fiction and reality. Are these really Cats actors, or actors playing those actors?
The panelists are ostensibly all former members of the Cats production, which ran for 18 years and 7845 performances. But during the play, we learn that the musical’s success was not always these actors’ success. There’s Monique, who survived the full 18 years, but had her dancing career stalled because of it. There’s Bonnie, whose hunger for approval was squashed when the show closed right after she joined the cast. There’s Steven, an actor’s actor, and Hector, the quintessential egocentric, boastful actor who still manages to be charismatic.
Cats Talk Back never lets the audience know for sure what they’re watching. As the evening progresses, there are moments of human connection and expressed friendship, but also moments that indicate cast in-fighting and tensions. And then suddenly one or more of the “cats” will break into acapella renditions of Cats songs, trying once again to find their inner jellicle cat.
Cats Talk Back stars Michael Mulligan, Marjorie Paul Shook, Nicole Nurenburg, Rhett Kalman, and Davis. It is directed by the Red Barn’s Artistic Director, Joy Hawkins. The show is sponsored by the Smith Law Firm, the Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture, and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
Tickets are available at redbarntheatre.com or at the theater’s box office, 305-296-9911.
NOTE: The Red Barn has been certified as a Covid Compliant Theater, and all COVID protocols will be observed for everyone’s safety. Proof of vaccination or a negative test within the past 48 hours will be required for entry. There will be a COVID-compliant adequate distance between the stage and seating.


January 10
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Red Barn Theater
319 Duval St
Key West, FL 33040 United States
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