A Leavenworth High School alum will have a leading role in an upcoming musical in Kansas City, Missouri.
Anthony J. Gasbarre III, a 2011 graduate of Leavenworth High School, will appear as the Rum Tum Tugger in “CATS” at the Musical Theater Heritage at Crown Center. The musical opens Thursday and runs through June 24.
“This is ‘CATS’ but re-imagined,” he said. “It’s a whole new twist on it.”
Gasbarre said the musical features a form of street jazz “with a hip hop element to it.”
He said the musical is “a little grittier and more contemporary” than the traditional performance of “CATS.”
“This show is put in a setting of our time,” he said. “It’s more relevant to the pop culture of today.”
Gasbarre, 25, said he became interested in theater as a student at Leavenworth High School.
“That’s what sparked my love for the arts,” said Gasbarre.
Gasbarre, a past performer with the River City Community Players, studied musical theater at Wichita State University, where he earned his degree in 2016.
Gasbarre said he has been performing professionally since 2012. He travels the nation performing, and has been in New York City for the last year.
Gasbarre said he is not only involved in stage performances, but also film and commercial work.
“I am a performer, not just a stage performer,” he said.
He said he auditions for roles several times each week, and is landing work on a regular basis.
“Coming from Leavenworth, that mindset and those values, I think directors like that I bring a hard-working ethic to the table in every production,” he said.
Gasbarre said he will perform a lead role in “Saturday Night Fever” at a regional theater in Maine in July and August.
Gasbarre has appeared in several productions in the Kansas City area.
He played the lead role of Sonny in “Grease” last summer at the Starlight Theater.
He has also appeared regionally in “Xanadu,” “Cinderella,” “The Addams Family,” “Cabaret,” “A Spectacular Christmas,” “Hello Dolly” and “MotherFreakingHood.”
Gasbarre is the son of Laura and Tony Gasbarre, who still live in Leavenworth. Laura Gasbarre is a former mayor on the Leavenworth City Commission.
“I am very excited to come back home for this production,” he said.
For more information, visit www.musicaltheaterheritage.com or call 817-221-6987.