The Savannah Children’s Theatre brings to life the vibrant and hip world of “Pete the Cat” at the Savannah Theatre. The children’s book and television character come alive in this musical with music influences from the 60’s.
“‘Pete the Cat’ is a book series based on a groovy cat who takes life as it comes and no matter what problems sort of come his way, it’s all good. We thought that was such a wonderful character and wonderful message to remind kids and grown-ups,” said Jenn Doubleday, Savannah Children’s Theatre associate director.
“Pete the Cat” has a local connection. In 1999, James Dean, a self-taught artist, adopted a kitten from a Georgia animal shelter. It was a scrawny black kitten James named “Pete.”
One day Dean started illustrating and creating paintings of Pete and changed the color from black to blue to avoid push back (because some believe black cats are bad luck).
The real Pete roamed away from home, never to be seen again after living with Dean for about a year, but Pete and his impact has lived on.
Since “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes” by Dean and writer Eric Litwin was published by HarperCollins in 2010, it has sold more than 3.5 million copies and spent more than 180 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.
In the Savannah Children’s Theatre show, Jimmy Biddle is the best student in his second grade class. This is until Pete the Cat moves in with his skateboard & electric guitar. When Jimmy needs help with his art project, Pete is the purrfect buddy to awaken Jimmy’s imagination.
They go on an artistic adventure together all the way to Paris and back on Pete’s hip Volkswagen Bus.
“Jimmy wants everything to be perfect in every way, and he gets stuck creatively. Pete really comes alongside him and teaches the lesson that if you love it, then it is perfect. If you made it, then it is perfect. There are all shades and all types of art, and they should all be celebrated,” said Doubleday.
The show is being performed at the historic Savannah Theatre a Bull St. This a collaboration that has been thought about for a while and this show was the right fit as Pete rocks out on his electric guitar.
“We wanted to do a collaboration with them for a long time, and this show seems perfect for their space. They have a great rock and roll set for their Savannah Live show that they run throughout the year,” said Doubleday.
The cast includes Caroline Donica, Danielle Houston, Galen Schneider, JoJo Ward, and Jack Webber as Pete the Cat. Music is by Will Aronson and book and lyrics are by Sarah Hammond. Musical references coming from many acts of the 1960’s and early 70’s. This show has something for all ages.
“It’s written for the very young. We’re talking pre-K through second grade, but many children’s books are enjoyed by adults as well. This one has me laughing out loud every single time I watch it,” said Doubleday.
You can see the show September 17 & 24, October 1 & 8 at 10 a.m. and September 18 & 25, October 2 & 9 at 3 p.m. Purchase tickets by clicking on ‘the shows’ page at savannahtheatre.com