Students invited to special performance of 'Cats' at Dixie
By Karen Hall
Almost 300 Marshall County students filled the Dixie Theatre Wednesday morning for a special performance of "Cats."
The tickets were divided among the schools which wanted them: Marshall Elementary, Westhills, Cornersville Elementary, Lewisburg Middle School, and Marshall County High School. It was left to the principals to select the students who could go to the theatre, said Director of Schools Jackie Abernathy.
"It was a kind of reward," she said.
Speaking before the performance, Director David Sanders said, "How nice to have you all here at the Dixie today. It's a long time since we've done a daytime show for the students of Marshall County."
"It's a really special day for us," agreed Abernathy. "We have to thank the people who have worked so hard to put this show together. This show is phenomenal; totally unbelievable. It would compare with anything you could see in London or New York.
"Many of you know Mr. Sanders," she continued. "He started his theatrical career in the second grade as Jack Frost, and in the fourth grade as Johnny Appleseed. Now he's brought Broadway to Marshall County and we are so proud of him!"
Even the youngest students were enthralled by the performance, and applause rang out loudly at the end of every song and dance routine. The special effects -- including colored smoke, ground fog, a rising platform, and a ladder which appeared from high in the wings so Grizabella could climb to the Heavyside Layer -- went off without a hitch.
At the end of the show, students and teachers gave the cast and crew a standing ovation. Then teachers in the cast came down into the audience to say "Hi" to their students. These included Rachel Jeter of MES, Febrienne Box of LMS, and Allison Mulliniks of MCHS, as well as Elise Dumser and Jennifer Harris, who emerged from the orchestra pit where they had been singing.
Unfortunately for those who haven't seen it, Sanders announced, "Cats" is sold out for the remaining performances.