Review Roundup: CATS on Tour at the Pantages - Did the Critics Take Away a Positive Memory?
The new National Tour of CATS, based off the last Broadway revival is currently playing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, through tomorrow, March 24.
Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the record-breaking musical spectacular has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages and is soon to be on tour across North America! Featuring new sound design, direction and choreography for a new generation - experience Cats for the first time as it begins a new life, or let it thrill you all over again!
The creative team for the new production of Cats includes John Napier (Scenic & Costume Design), Natasha Katz (Lighting Design), Mick Potter (Sound Design), choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne, and direction by Trevor Nunn.
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld: Yes, it's dated, (the prominent appearance of a boom box is a not so subtle reminder) and it will never win over fans looking for intellectual fare, but it does a remarkable job of paying homage to the man who owned the genre at a high point in musical theatre's evolution. The original production won seven Tony awards, ran for 18 years on Broadway, and has been seen by more than 73 million people around the world. Say what you will, the CATS phenomenon is nothing to sneeze at.
Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter: Choreography by the legendary Gillian Lynne has been reworked in a minor way by Hamilton's Andy Blankenbuehler, whose touch can be seen in the slinky duet, "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" (Tony D'Alelio and Rose Iannaccone). Unburdened by narrative, Lynne, who passed away last July, offers a dance sampler including music hall, English folk, jazz and tap over Lloyd Webber's often evocative anthems and lingering ballads. What's not to like? Cats is a crowd-pleaser that keeps it in the litter box. Now and forever? Sure.
Dany Margolies, Los Angeles Daily News: Natasha Katz updates the lighting, and her work is exquisite. The musical's ending - that famous moment when one of the cats ascends to "the Heavyside Layer" for rebirth in another of her nine lives - is a visual knockout. And, to be honest, primarily because of Katz's lighting it's an emotional knockout, too.
Ron Irwin, Los Angeles Post-Examiner: Throughout the show the singing and dancing never ends and is nothing short of spectacular. But to attempt to fully explain each twist and turn in this extraordinary play would be like trying to explain the meaning of life in 25 words or less.
Jordan Holman, Daily Bruin: The production's most impressive features were the technical elements of design, lighting and sound. During scenes of high intensity and drama, dizzying light and dark crossfades appeared on the stage in rapid succession. String lights constantly changed color depending on the mood of the piece. When Mr. Mistoffelees takes the stage, the theater is transformed into an astonishing light show that flashes to the beat of the music. As the cat passionately executes fouettes across the stage, a spotlight shines directly on him and his sparkling costume. Such performances manage to distract, at least for a moment, from the lack of cohesion elsewhere.
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy