On Tuesday evening, Broadway San Jose continued its season with CATS, one of Broadway’s longest running musicals. As of May 2011, CATS celebrated its 30th anniversary, make it the longest continuously touring Broadway musical in history. CATS is musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. I had yet to see a live performance of CATS, and had been waiting to see the musical at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts. Opening night was finally here and the theatre was packed with fans (some who had dressed-up in costume for the occasion) anticipating a wonderful evening. We took our seats and waited for the curtain to go up for the award winning musical.
CATS is the musical tale of a band of Jellicle Cats that gather every year for the annual Jellicle Ball. Each year, Old Deuteronomy, their leader, selects one special cat to venture into the Heaviside Layer to be “reborn” and given a new life. At first, I was worried that with the many feline characters, I would have a difficult time distinguishing one from the next. Jimmy Goode, the show’s Lead Hair, along with the other talented members of the costume design team, did a spectacular job of making each of the characters look strikingly different from one another, with a look that effortlessly complimented each of their very unique personalities. The careful details that made-up the costume and stage design played just as critical of a role as the performance of the characters, and the crew did an excellent job of creating the perfect atmosphere for the show.
From beginning to end, I was incredibly impressed by the talent of the actors and actresses on stage. Their dancing, singing, acting, and captivating stage presence had my full attention throughout each of the musical numbers. Reading through the bios of the performers, I was surprised that this tour was the first for many. A few of my favorite songs from the show include the opening number of “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats,” “Magical Mr. Mistoffelees,” and the beautiful solo from Grizabella of “Memory.” CATS is unlike any musical I have seen, and that is perhaps what makes it so memorable and as successful as it has been over the last 30 years. Even as I am writing this, I continue to have the soundtrack playing in the background (yes, it’s that good! )–I finally know what all the fuss is about!
CATS will be at Broadway San Jose and the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose for 7 remaining performances from December 28, 2011 through January 1, 2012. Tickets are on sale now at the www.sjtix.com box office or call 408-792-4111 for more details. You won’t want to miss your opportunity to see CATS while it’s still in town! Be sure to follow Broadway San Jose on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/broadwaysj) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/BroadwaySanJose) for updates on their 2011-2012 season and special messages for fans/followers!