The North American National Tour of CATS will pounce on Rochester in September, with technical rehearsals and performance from Sept. 21 through Sept. 26, the Rochester Broadway Theatre League said this week.
The production, the fifth tour launch for Rochester since 2016, is expected to add $6 million to the local economy, due in part to the state’s Music and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program.
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the Theatre Tax Credit Program,” said RBTL Executive Vice President Linda Glosser in a statement. “On the heels of an 18-month shutdown, we could not be more thrilled to mark our reopening with a three-week tech period and tour launch. Our stagehands, wardrobe workers, ticket sellers and local surrounding businesses will all benefit from this engagement. We sincerely thank our local legislators for their support in this process, of RBTL and of the arts in our community.”
Before heading out on their national tours, Broadway shows assemble and rehearse on location for several weeks. The Empire State Music and Theatrical Production Tax Credit provides incentives for qualified production companies to conduct the “tech” periods in Upstate New York entertainment venues, making them competitive with venues in other Northeastern states offering similar incentives to productions produced on Broadway.
CATS audiences are expected to reach nearly 16,000 patrons during the production’s stay in Rochester. Crews and local laborers will prepare the show for its opening and national tour. The cast will then rehearse and prepare for opening night while enjoying some of the area’s best local attractions. Consistent with previous tour launches, this engagement will result in significant local economic impact, officials said.
“Rochester has become a preferred city for launching Broadway tours as a result of the Tax Credit Program. Area hotels, restaurants, retailers and more have welcomed the cast and crews with open arms, and the community has responded with an outpouring of support,” said Albert Nocciolino, RBTL’s Partner-Presenter. “The effect of this investment will be seen across our region and across the state, with a collective economic impact of this year’s Upstate NY tour launches estimated to exceed $100 million dollars.”
Joining CATS on the 2021-2022 M&T Bank Broadway season lineup at RBTL’s auditorium theatre, are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pretty Woman, My Fair Lady, Dear Evan Hansen, the Band’s Visit, Mean Girls and Hamilton.
“Bringing performing arts back to Rochester is a vital part of our recovery from the pandemic. The Theatre Tax Credit Program invests in our community and brings artists, crew members and concessions staff back to work at a time when our city is in need of a boost. As a former singer and SOTA graduate, I am confident we will return stronger than ever. I am excited to see RBTL’s successful new season,” said Sen. Jeremy Cooney, D-Greece.