It’s all about the local connection.

In 1982, I was working on the brand-new Paramount Pictures account at Rick Johnson and Company. We’d been hired to take care of local press and advertising, and Grease 2 was coming out that summer. Having seen the movie, I knew the Pink Ladies drove around in a bullet-nosed Studebaker the color of Pepto Bismol (above). I wondered if we could get something like that to promote the movie. Might as well dream big, right?

It was then that we noticed a Studebaker of the appropriate age in the parking lot across from our offices. Its paint color was (being kind) dirty mustard and flaking off everywhere. It would need a paint job, but this was a gift.

We left a note on the windshield, offering a makeover in return for use of the car. The car’s owner, Dick Durand, called us back and agreed. We got Maaco to provide a paint job for promotional consideration. Maaco convinced Walt’s Top Shop to spiff up the interior (it also needed lots of help) for the same deal. Suddenly, Dick had a shiny pink Studebaker with grey cloth interior and we had a car we could take around town to promote Grease 2.

The promotion garnered us a feature in the Albuquerque Tribune. The reporter, Bart Ripp, talked to Durand and the owner of the Maaco shop. He talked to us about how we’d use the car to promote the movie. Everything went into the article. Lesson learned: our replica of the Pink Ladies’ car earned us a great story in the local paper.

Cats, coming to Popejoy Hall this weekend, has a New Mexican starring in the show. The media is interested.

Kathryn Holtkamp from Los Alamos first saw Cats in Popejoy Hall when she was about 11 and loved the show. Now she stars as Grizabella in the national touring production, singing the famous song “Memory.”

The Cats production company understood the value of her local connection. They agreed to fly her in to Albuquerque a day ahead of the rest of the company for interviews. Yesterday, she was on KRST-FM with Juan Velasco and KKOB-AM with Jim Villanucci. This morning, she appears on New Mexico Style with Nikki Stanzioni on KASA Fox 2. Later, KOAT, KRQE, KOB-TV and KLUZ will interview her at Popejoy Hall. An interview with her was published in Wednesday’s Valencia County News-Bulletin and another appears in this morning’s Albuquerque Journal. All this was arranged by our Broadway publicist, Jan Turri.

I had the opportunity to interview Kathryn very early in the Cats tour and posted the video on our web site. In that interview, she proved that she was a bright and cheery representative for our state, and in her performance later that night, she demonstrated her superb singing and acting talents.

Regardless of her gifts, she still wouldn’t likely be interviewed by five television stations, two newspapers and two radio stations if she weren’t a New Mexican. Like I said at the beginning ...

Terry S. Davis

Popejoy Hall

Views: 630

Tags: Broadway, Cats, Grease, Holtkamp, Popejoy, Studebaker, Webber, promotion, tour

Comment by Zuzu Petals on June 5, 2011 at 5:49pm
Hoo hoo. Bart Ripp was a wild man. Also saw CATZ last night. Excellent. It deserved a better review from the Journal, I thought they liked cats.

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