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Nicole Johndrow of Callicoon as “Jelly Lorum” in “CATS”

Meet 'Jelly Lorum,'
AKA Nicole Johndrow

By Dan Hust
CALLICOON — October 25, 2002 – Today, “CATS.” Tomorrow, Broadway?
That could be the career path of Callicoon resident Nicole Johndrow, if all goes as it has been for the 25-year-old.
Johndrow, the daughter of Michael and Jackie Johndrow of Radio Tower Road in the Beechwoods, has been touring the U.S. and Canada since June 2001 as a cast member of the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “CATS,” which recently ended a two-decade run on Broadway.
The Lowville Central School and Emerson College graduate has never performed on Broadway, but that could be the next logical step in this actor’s career.
“I’m never ruling out the possibility of film or television,” said Johndrow, who has met the likes of Carol Burnett, Linda Lavin and Tim Conway (all at a recent private party for Burnett’s coming Broadway play based on a book she authored).
That’s one of the reasons she enjoys living in Callicoon with her family, which moved here from upstate Lowville several years ago when dad Mike got a job as a local school superintendent. (He now oversees the Sullivan West district.)
“It works out pretty nicely,” she said of her proximity to New York City whilst enjoying time with family. “The area is so completely beautiful. The view [from my house] is breathtaking.”
Johndrow is currently in the midst of a three-week break from her tour, which has taken her to 60 cities for up to 10 2.5-hour performances a week (plus four rehearsals a month).
Putting to work her formal voice training and bachelor’s degree in musical theater, Johndrow plays “Jelly Lorum,” one of the leading roles in the immensely popular play. She’s also an understudy to three other actors in the show.
“It’s a strange job,” she admitted, but “it’s truly what I’ve always wanted to do. It can never really get old.”
It’s a demanding job too, as Johndrow must sing, dance and act throughout the musical.
Which means, of course, that “any vacation is indeed welcome,” she said.
But you’ll find her back on stage at the Crouse-Hinds Memorial Auditorium in Syracuse November 4 and 5 for a show each night at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, and father Mike said he expects a good deal of family and friends to be in attendance.
“We’ve been to everything she’s ever been in,” said the proud father, who recalled a shy, timid little girl dramatically turning into a confident stage actor even in elementary school. “She’s got a following. I think she’s going to go places, I really do.”
And come Broadway or not, one fact will always remain, said Johndrow’s dad:
“We’re very proud of her.”

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Nicole Johndrow

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