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"Right in Our Own Backyard?", by Rachel Dickson
January 6, 2006: The Jackson-Today

The Dickson Gallery of Fine Art, Art Gallery Tennessee , Jackson Today Weekly Column by Rachel Dickson 


      Right in Our Own Backyard?



      Well, it’s 2006.  And Jackson is starting the year off with a bang, taking culture downtown up a notch.  Wait…a bunch of notches.  No… straight to the “big-city” notch.  I don’t know how it happened…but I’ll bet we can thank Jackson Centre (the city organization who’s responsible for booking special events at Oman Arena, the Civic Center, the Ned, Fairgrounds Park, the Carnegie Center for Arts and History, and Pringles Park).  CATS, the longest running show on Broadway is coming to Jackson on Sunday, January 8th at 3:00pm!
     Cats, the phenomenal musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, opened on October 7, 1982 and ran on Broadway for 18 years selling an estimated 8 million tickets, and then 50 million more were sold worldwide. Cats has sold tickets in 11 different languages in over 300 cities in 26 countries. It even broke box office records for ticket sales at the Empire Theatre in England for selling over $200,000 in tickets in just two hours.
     Andrew Lloyd Webber's awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys, six Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, an International Emmy, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers award for Excellence in Musical Theatre and the Critics' Circle award for Best Musical 2000.
     Renowned for his excellence in composing and lyricism, Andrew Lloyd Webber has also written The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Webber has even been knighted by the Queen of England due to his contributions to musical theater.


    Cats (loosely based on T.S. Eliot’s book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats) is a musical in two acts about a tribe of Cats who gather once a year to choose a member of the tribe to be reincarnated. The musical showcases characters from all walks of life who are metaphors of characters from different parts of society. Their stories are told through the poetry of T.S. Eliot and relationships are presented through choreography. It has been said that Cats is "…among the most exhilarating and innovative musicals ever staged..."
     Having never personally seen a Broadway production, I’ll not miss this.  After all, it’s right in our own backyard.  No exaggerated parking fees, no long commutes to and from the theatre, no taxis.  Why wouldn’t we all go to see this show?  What a HUGE opportunity!  I’ll see you there!
     Surprisingly, as of Monday, Jan. 2, 12:46p there were still seats available.  Ticket prices range from $20 to $55 and are available through the Jackson Centre box office by calling 731-425-8587 or toll free 866-262-8867.  Box office hours are Monday – Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturday from 10am – 2pm.  You can also purchase tickets over the web by visiting www.jacksoncentre.com.

     Dickson is the owner of The Dickson Gallery of Fine Art at 118 E Lafayette Street. She may be contacted by email at
rachel@dicksongallery.com or by phone at 423-9708.




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