Review: Cats The Musical Is All Purr, No Substance But Still As Enchanting

Cats Musical

The Jellicle Cats are back in town again!

CONTENT: Michelle Ng
IMAGE: Base Entertainment Asia

The theatrical spectacle shines the spotlight on cats as they gather in a junkyard playground on the most special night of the year – the Jellicle Ball. As the cats put on a show for Old Deuteronomy, the wise and benevolent leader of the felines and who will decide which kitty deserves to go up to the Heaviside Layer. The chosen cat will then be reborn into a new Jellicle life.

With fairy lights strung into the audience that makes it feel like you, the audience, is at the ball too, the Jellicle cats are full of flair and personality. At times, the cats even break the fourth wall, interacting with the audience. Get ready for heady characters like Rum Tum Tugger (a Mick Jagger-esque rock star), Jennnyanydots (a motherly cat who runs the household), Bustopher Jones (an Edwardian gentlemanly cat w fho enjoys the finest things in life) and Mr Mistoffelees (a young cat with mysterious and magical cat with plenty of dazzling tricks up his sleeve. At one point, mice and beetles appear on stage to join the party.

Mistofle

Despite not knowing what was going on half the time, CATS has a certain whimsical charm to it that keeps the audience coming back for more. The 80s musical might not have much storyline, but it didn’t stop it from becoming one of the longest running shows on both Broadway’s and West End. This is also the musical’s third time to Singapore, and we’re pretty sure that it won’t be the last.

Perhaps it might have made more sense to have read up on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, to which composter Andrew Lloyd Webber set the lyrics of the songs too. Most of the story happens in the songs (there is pretty much zero dialogue), so you have to pay extra attention to the lyrics to keep up with the felines.

Cats

Webber’s done it again with another repertoire full of memorable hits, with the most famous none other than ‘Memory’. With lovely lyrics and a powerful voice, Grizabella the Glamour Cat steals the show with a bittersweet ‘Memory’ despite having one of the least showtime on stage. Running a close second for most memorable song is Mr Mistoffelees with his self-titled song as he brings about an unexpected and magical miracle when all hope is lost.

If you can look past the plotless story, CATS the musical is a wondrous and enjoyable spectacle. From a dance perspective, it’s certainly not easy taking on the feisty felines, who are known to be fluid and languid in their movements. The cast managed to fully embody anthropomorphic cats in a mix of modern contemporary and ballet. Throw into the mix some good ol’ rock and roll, acrobatics, and some tap-dancing, and you’ll be nicely entertained. Just don’t try to follow the storyline too closely.

Cats The Musical runs at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre till 5 January 2020. Tickets from $50, Get your tickets now via www.sistic.com.sg or www.marinabaysands.com/ticketing.

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