North Central College - Naperville, IL

Senior lands part in professional “Cats”

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North Central College senior Tommy Rivera-Vega has landed the key part of Rum Tum Tugger in a professional production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” in the award-winning Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre at Chicago’s No Exit Café. The show runs Nov. 21-Jan. 2.

Rivera-Vega learned about auditions for “Cats” while working in Chicago last spring on Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s contemporary musical “Aida.” He was called back to sing and dance for four roles in “Cats” and was cast for Rum Tum Tugger, “the part I most wanted,” he says. While commuting to Chicago for rehearsals, Rivera-Vega has carried a full load of college classes and voice lessons, participated in the Concert Choir and coordinated public relations for two school productions this fall.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rivera-Vega learned about North Central College when he met a North Central admission counselor who visited his high school and learned about his interest in theatre. She encouraged him to attend a summer musical theatre camp under the direction of North Central’s fine arts director Brian Lynch.

“I fell in love with the school and so did my family,” says Rivera-Vega. “Even though I had offers from other schools, I liked the size and programs at North Central best.”

Rivera-Vega is majoring in musical theatre, with a minor in dance, and has performed in many College productions, including the leading role as the King in “The King and I,” “Tell Me Truly,” “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and North Central’s own 2009 production of “Cats,” when he played the part of Mr. Mistoffelees.

Tickets for “Cats” at No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood, Chicago, are $50/person for show and dinner, with the actors serving the dinner, and $30/person for show only. Call 800-595-4849 or visit