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Don’t miss ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

Natchez Little Theatre, Mississippi’s oldest community theatre, entertaining since 1932 is proud to present as the sixth show of the 63rd season, Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer-Prize winning drama, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The original Broadway production opened on March 24, 1955, at the Morosco Theatre and starred Barbara Bel Geddes as Maggie, Ben Gazzara as Brick and Burl Ives as Big Daddy.

It was adapted into a motion picture in 1958, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman and was revised by Williams in 1974, starring Elizabeth Ashley for the American Shakespeare Theatre. NLT’s current production is based on the 1974 Williams’ adaptation.

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is the story of a Southern family in crisis, focusing on the turbulent relationship of a husband and wife, Brick, portrayed by NLT veteran, Ryan McGaughey and Maggie (“The Cat”) Pollitt, played by Susan McMillin in her NLT debut, and their interaction with Brick’s family over the course of one evening gathering at the family estate in Mississippi, ostensibly to celebrate the birthday of patriarch and tycoon “Big Daddy” Pollitt, acted by NLT award-winning actor/director, Tommy Jackson.

Maggie, though witty and beautiful, has escaped a childhood of desperate poverty to marry into the wealthy Pollitt family, but finds herself suffering in an unfulfilling marriage. Brick, an aging football hero, has neglected his wife and further infuriates her by ignoring his brother, Gooper’s attempts to gain control of the family fortune.

Brick’s indifference and his near-continuous drinking date back to the recent suicide of his friend Skipper. Big Daddy is unaware that he has cancer and will never live to see another birthday; his doctors and his family have conspired to keep this information from him and his wife, Ida or Big Mama, played by Yvonne Murray. His relatives are in attendance and attempt to present themselves in the best possible light, hoping to receive the definitive share of Big Daddy’s enormous wealth.

NLT veteran actors portray the supporting cast of Gooper, Jason Dauphin; his wife Mae or Sister Woman, Lou Ellen Stout; Reverend Tooker, Wade Heatherly; and Dr. Baugh, Rob Conger. I have the privilege of directing this extremely talented cast in a very raw, emotional performance. Assisting me have been Trey Price, Arden McMillin and the ever-talented Don Vesterse, who constructed a wonderful Pollitt Plantation.

Performances of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a final matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday. All tickets are $15. NLT is pleased to offer a benefit/preview performance as a fundraiser for Natchez’ Armstrong Library at 7 p.m. Wednesday with $10 tickets.

Don’t miss these memorable performances at NLT! Reservations are highly recommended by calling the theatre at 601-442-2233; toll free at 1-877-440-2233 or online at www.natcheztheatre.org. This play contains mature language and material that some might find offensive.

I look forward to seeing you at “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!”

Layne Taylor is the artistic and executive director of Natchez Little Theatre and the director of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

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