Hello! Every year, my dad gifts the family with season tickets to Playhouse Square and we divide the shows up accordingly. This month, Cats was playing at the Connor Palace and I had a difficult time finding anyone to go with me due to massive lack of interest lol. Thankfully, my brother, Andrew, stepped in in the clutch as long as we left at intermission. This was fine by me because I was just happy to go period!
I wasn’t expecting to like Cats as much as I did, especially considering how much I made fun of it prior to. However, I thought it was spectacular and am going to buy nosebleed tickets so I can see it in its entirety this weekend. The songs, production, dancing, and orchestra accompanying the cast were so amazing and I have spent my time since Saturday night being disappointed at not seeing the whole thing. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:
Cats begs the question of what was Andrew Lloyd Webber smoking when he made it and where can I get some lol. The whole point of the show, as I understand it, is that a group of alley cats are preparing for the Jellicle Ball. During this one special night of the year, the wise Old Deuteronomy will choose one cat to make use of one of their nine lives and come back as something different. So, the musical is basically each cat introducing themselves in a song about what makes them unique.
As I said, it was not in my plans to freaking LOVE this show but I was hooked from the jump. At the beginning of the show, the stage was completely dark. Then, small green eyes began popping up throughout the stage as the cats began to prepare for their opening number of Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. And, can we please talk about what a bop that song is?! It is so catchy and fun and trust and believe that I have had it stuck in my head ever since.
The first few numbers of Cats were dedicated to explaining the show and then it was time for each cat to begin their introductory songs. In Act I, these songs were for the Old Gumbie Cat (Michelle E. Carter), Rum Tum Tugger (Hank Santos), Bustopher Jones (John Anker Bow) , Mungojerrie (Brian Craig Nelson) and Rumpleteazer (Taryn Smithson), and Old Deuteronomy (Cameron Schutza). Andrew was a fan of the portly Cat About Town, Bustopher Jones. We also both really enjoyed the Old Gumbie Cat, a prim and proper lady who could tap dance like nobody’s business. I love a good tap dancing number and this one was incredible. Her rhinestone tap shoes were also everything!
My personal favorite of what I saw was Rum Tum Tugger, a rock n’ roll bad boy of a cat who had an Elvis inspired number. His song has also been playing on a loop in my head and I’m looking forward to seeing it again! My favorite part of his song was when some cats brought out and assembled pieces of broken mirror and Rum Tum was dancing in front of it. Cat burglars, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, also had a great song and offered mind blowing acrobatics including tandem cartwheels. It was hard to tell where Mungojerrie ended and Rumpleteazer began lol.
Not only was the music and feline like dancing sublime but the set and lighting were also formidable displays of theater production. The alley setting was filled with tunnels and nooks that the cats could pop in and out of and it was so neat to literally blink and see a cat go from one end of the stage to the other. The lighting also helped set the mood for the special night of the Jellicle Ball with a sky of stars and a huge full moon.
As thankful as I am that I got to see half of Cats at the gorgeous Connor Palace, it just wasn’t enough! I want the whole enchilada and am keeping my fingers crossed that Johnny will accompany me in the nosebleeds this weekend. If you have the opportunity to see this show and can relate to my initial ambivalence, trust me when I say that you are going to have a blast. Cats might not be your cup of tea but it is going to be impossible to not appreciate it for what it is – a fantastic production!
Have you seen Cats before? What did you think of it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah