"Kitty Claws and the Magic of Dreaming"
Hardy is also a lyricist, and her holiday musical, “Kitty Claws and the Magic of Dreaming” includes music by Jim Boyer, and internationally renowned, three-time Tony Award nominated composer/conductor Larry Blank (www.larryblankmusic.com). The show is about believing in dreams and learning to embrace our differences. The play has been performed for many years and toured such venues as theatres in Los Angeles and Orange County, Hollygrove Orphanage, Orangewood Children’s Home, and in collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services for foster youth.
By Brandon Monahan
Gerrod Zanger as Tommy, Harley Jay as Butch
In the heart of crazy Hollywood, while hundreds of people watched B-list celebrities attend the premier to a complex love story opening soon, a small but cute musical opened at the Stella Adler Theater. Almost a perfect contrast to the glitzy and complex drama of the movie, Kitty Claws and the Magic of Dreaming brought its audience a very simple but warming message of hope in the direst of situations.
This play has a fairly extensive history of being performed, having been traveled a bit before finding its home in our humble metropolis. The writer, Molly Hardy has worked tirelessly to continue the magic and vision of the play, by creating new material and new songs, with the assistance of Larry Blank, Jenna Mate, Jim Boyer and David James. Although pre-dominantly one woman's task to blend child-like innocence and compelling story-telling befitting only adults, Hardy has found great allies in co-director Stephen Bridgewater, producer Bo Benigo and Priscilla Resendiz' exemplary stage-managing. And what musical would succeed with an imaginative choreographer, like Jonathan Meza?
The story follows five homeless cats, stuck in a pound during Christmas Eve. The catastrophe manifests itself in the owner of the pound, Mr. Meanguy, bent on eating the cats on Christmas Day, if they aren't adopted. Hopelessness seeps in, but is beaten back as the cats band together to recover their lost dreams.
Megan Lynam and Jonathan Mezza as Snow and Kitty Claws
So much talent was brought together for a simple musical, requiring only a piano, guitar and the strength of the casts' voices. The cats were portrayed by Allie Costa, Harley Jay, Darrin Revitz, Starr Smitch, Megan Lynam, Jonathan Meza and Kaitlyn Searle. The humans, as quirky as their 'pets' are performed by Peter Parasiliti, Lauren Stone, Gerrod Zanger, Christy Conner, Sara Chalmers, Tommy Germanovich and Alana Gospo. Jenna Mate played the narrator, as well.
Peter Parasiliti as Mr. Meanguy, Allie Costa (in stroller) as Squeaky, Lauren Stone as Margaret
Although geared more toward a younger audience at times, Kitty Claws and the Magic of Dreaming can be enjoyed by anyone of any age, if they open their heart and believe.