I have never seen anything like it. A production that had people dressed as and acting like cats. A musical that has the audience come to an understanding of the things that these animals go through. You see cats as having a structured society and strong beliefs, with some as revered members of their society. Some cats are scary, or evil, some are cultured and respected and some are beaten, scorned and marked as outcasts.
“Cats” has moving music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot. “Cats” has some of the most creative, detailed costumes you will see in a Broadway show, the work of John Napier, who also did the unusual set. This production has phenomenal choreography, including ballet, tap and modern dance that will absolutely amaze you—this choreography is the genius of Andy Blankenbuehler based on the original choreography of Gillian Lynne. It has incomparable direction by Trevor Nunn.
While the musical introduces you to various cats and their roles in society, it also has two numbers that I found to be the showstoppers and made me feel privileged to experience. “Magical Mister Mistoffelees” is one of the most exciting songs and dance numbers to witness. It uplifts the spirit and brings the viewer joy. Of course, the song now and forever associated with “Cats” is “Memory,” performed by an older, outcast cat named Grizabella. This cat has not known love or another’s affectionate touch for years. She is a sad, hurt cat, who is treated terribly but continues on.
When “Cats” was on Broadway in the past I had never seen it, but my 14-year-old daughter asked me to take her to see this show, and I’m so glad she did. The cast is stunning to watch. The way they move and the details of the makeup and costumes will dazzle you. “Cats” is playing at the Neil Simon Theatre on West 52nd Street.
For more information, visit www.catsthemusical.com/broadway.