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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Musical: CATS (Sydney, May 2010)

Everytime I think about "Cats" The Musical, I'd automatically hear the song in my head:

All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

- from the song "Memory" as sung by the character Grizabella (the glamour cat) -
Inspired by the poems from "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Elliot, Andrew Lloyd Webber created the melody of "Cats" in late 1977. Together with director Trevor Nunn, choreographer Gillian Lynne and designer John Napier, they first opened in London in 1981. It holds the record of one of the longest running musicals in West End history.

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The plot is very simple and yet at first it was hard to figure out what was really happening. If you're looking for substance in the story, there really isn't much.

It is about a tribe of cats called "Jellicle Cats" when once a year they get together for a Jellicle Ball. During the Jellicle Ball, their leader, Old Deuteronomy, would make a Jellicle Choice and decide which cat will be reborn into a new Jellicle life.

Other than the thin plot, it was all about each cat telling the story of their lives as told thru their songs and dances.

It was a brilliant and creative production, not like any production I've ever seen. This musical is a feast for those who like dance A LOT. Each sequence is like one big production number. The cast were great! I loved how feline their movements were and how graceful they were when they walk and dance.

A little word of caution though, some "dance numbers" took more than it should be that it was dragging already. My Husband and I almost dozed off at one point.

The songs were a bit of a disappointment. *sigh* Yes, I had to *sigh* because it was a musical in the first place but only two or three songs were really good enough for me. Although I had to commend Delia Hannah (Grizabella) for her rendition of "Memory". For me, she delivered well.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and it was entertaining enough. I still believe it was worth seeing it even once to know what kind of production it is. It may have it's not-so-good parts but I believe it is a great production. Seeing the cats in their colorful hair, make-up and costumes (I wonder how long it takes them to put on and get rid off) were a delight to the eyes. Set and light design are two things that won't disappoint too.

We had a triple couple date when we watched last Saturday (29 May 2010) and we had a great time. Chris brought our camera and it was fortunate that we got great seats up front so we were able to take really good shots of the cast.

Cats The Musical in Sydney till 13 June 2010 at the Lyric Theatre, Star City.

All photos by Chris & Ibyang Sanchez, copyright 2010.
Canon 7D, 17-85mm IS USM Lens.