Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Puss in Boots (1981)

In the fall of 1981, performing in repertory with Timothy Mason's Kidnapped in London, the Children's Theatre Company and School presented a new adaptation of the classic children's tale Puss in Boots by guest playwright Sharon Holland.  Set in New Orleans, Louisiana in the early 20th century, the play also boasted a number of Dixieland-inspired songs with music composed and orchestrated by Hiram Titus.  The production was directed by John Clark Donahue, with scenic design by Jack Barkla and costume design by Barry Robison.  The role of Puss was created by the accomplished CTC student Nate Peterson, who had previously appeared in featured roles in Falling Moons and A Circle is the Sun.

Deeming the previous summer's professional videotaping of  The Marvelous Land of OZ worthwhile, CTC again collaborated with the Television Theatre Company in creating a professional video of Puss in Boots
for distribution by MCA/Universal for cablecast on HBO, Showtime, etc. as well as videocassette.  CTC student alumnus Garry Q. Lewis (active at CTC in the late 60's through 1974), who had accrued professional credentials in New York City ("Bubblin' Brown Sugar") and national tour ("The Wiz"), assumed the role of Puss.

"Puss in Boots" video 1982.  Julee Cruise, Garry Q. Lewis.

Nancy Wagner, Jason McLean
Wendy Lehr

Audio clips from stage production:

"Sing for Your Supper"

"Kathmandu" with J.D. Steele as Mysterious Babies Emcee, Julee Cruise as Lulu White, and Nate Peterson as Puss.  Lyric by Sharon Holland.  Music by Hiram Titus.

"Down by the city gate all the kitties congregate
And there they tell a tale or two of what it's like in Kathmandu...

Pussycat, Pussycat, where have you been?
Down to Kathmandu, where it ain't no sin.
It's where the cats incline because they're feline fine
They like to sit on fences and catcall till the fun commences
Oh there's lots of things a cat can do
Way down in Kathmandu.

Pussycat, Pussycat, what'd you do there?
Got rubbed the wrong way, but I don't care.
That's where the kitties swing, they caterwaul and cling,
And you can hear at night the catechism they recite.
Oh, there's lots of things a cat can do
Way down in Kathmandu.

Pussycat, Pussycat, why don't we run
Down to Kathmandu, just to have some fun?
I'm sure anticipatin' some classy syncopatin'
When the cats create that sound, they never pussyfoot around.
Oh, there's lots of things a cat can do
Way down in Kathmandu."

Mardi Gras dance and "If Ever I Cease to Love" (traditional ballad)


All compositions were performed by a live pit orchestra. Now a rare event indeed, CTC's productions during "the old days" were quite frequently accompanied by live musicians and, in hindsight, was something often taken for granted.

Ricia Birturk, costume director, working with guest designer Barry Robison on a Mardi Gras costume.

TTC video clip 1 of 4:

TTC video clip 2 of 4:

TTC video clip 3 of 4:

TTC video clip 4 of 4:

No comments:

Post a Comment