The North American Tour Company of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2019
Based on a T.S. Eliot work with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats has been a theatre favorite since its 1981 opening. And, judging by DPAC's revival-production, under the direction of Trevor Nunn, it’s easy to see why the show is such a hit. Filled with incredible movement and eye-catching costumes, the production is absolutely beautiful fun from start to finish.
The beauty starts when the cats with their glowing eyes make their way down the aisles. Under the bright full moon and shimmering lights, the audience quickly discovers that these colorful, diverse cats have gathered for their yearly meeting, one with a very special purpose.
Before getting to that purpose, however, each of the Jellicle cats gets introduced with a special song, each one more intriguing than the one before. “The Old Gumbie Cat” number is one of the show’s most fun, featuring fabulous tap dancing. Other standouts include “Macavity, the Mystery Cat” and “Memory,” gorgeously performed by the beautiful-voiced Grizabella (Keri Rene Fuller).
Grizabella isn’t the show’s only memorable character either. There’s also funny fat cat Bustopher Jones, portrayed to pompous perfection by Timothy Gulan, and old, shaky Gus, who is also brought to life by Gulan. All of the cats, with their wildly different personalities, delight the audience.
And, in addition to the cats themselves, the show’s use of movement proves thoroughly entertaining. Featuring feline acrobatics and Andy Blankenbuehler’s incredible choreography based on Gillian Lynne’s original choreography, Cats is truly poetry in motion.
More of a glorious spectacle than a traditional musical, Cats offers a unique theatre-going experience that everyone should see at least once. DPAC’s production, however, is so fantastical that you’ll probably want to see it several more times over!
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