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These 'Cats' are On Local Stage

Summer drama camp ready to present its version of "Cats" at Bishop Janes United Methodist Church in Basking Ridge.

If you closed your eyes, and just listened to one of the final rehearsals for "Cats" _ to be presented this Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings as the culmination of theater camp at — you might think you were listening to a more professional group of singers and actors.

But don't close your eyes! There's plenty to see on stage, too, as the cast of about 30 theatrical campers from around the Somerset Hills dance, prowl and pose on the stage in the chapel of the church in downtown Basking Ridge.

Some of the campers — ranging from fourth grader to college-age students — arrived for camp with no previous experience, while others showed up knowing more of what to do, included those who trained at previous summer theater camps at the church, said Kim Dial, director of children and family ministry at Bishop Janes.

The director for the production is Jaye Barre, who with her husband founded the Basking-Ridge based Trilogy Repertory Co. Marion Drew is musical director, Dial said.

Also involved is Carl Bird, the oldest cat, who said he is a special education teacher at Watchung Hills Regional High School. Bird had said he had played the role of Gus, the Theater Cat, when he was 12 years old, according to the organizers of the play.

Peformances are scheduled at the church at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dial said. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $10 for children and senior citizens, she said, with the proceeds left after expenses going to the church's youth and kids programs.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 908-766-1108, ext. 101, or at the door, Dial said.

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