CATS Singapore Review : A Wacky Feline Experience



Wacky, eccentric, mind blown.



This summed up our experience of  CATS The Musical now showing at Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands till 5 January. It is amazing to witness a Cats live on stage given that it had been almost 40 years since it first started. In cat years, it is the equivalent of 2 centuries in human years.




To enjoy such longevity in the world of musicals. you need at least 9 lives and CATS  the Musical counted its blessings with an agile and talented cast in their midst to bring this show all over the world through the passage of time. Forget about the debacle Movie that has polarized the audience, watching CATS  the Musical promises to be another experience altogether.

What is CATS  about?


To appreciate the musical, you would have to be familiar with the plot. On one special night, the Jellicle Cats will gather with their leader, Old Deuteronomy at the Jellicle ball. The leader would choose among the Cats, one that would ascend to Heaviside Layer and come back as a new Jellicle Cats. Based on an Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, you are seeing poetry out in Motion by the acclaim Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Nine Lives
CATS tour 2019, Photo Credit: Alessandro Pinna

Unlike a typical musical where you have a storyline and even a narrative, CATS  is more of a showcase of song and dance similar to a  Boardway dance act. Beautifully choreographed to a mix of Jazz, Ballet and modern contemporary moves, there are no dialogues but the story is told in songs and extended dance routine.
CATS tour 2019, Photo Credit: Alessandro Pinna

The strongest performances would be from the cast dancing and prowling in unison on stage. At some point in the musical, there was even an enticing tap dancing segment that will leave you tapping on your feet.

For the best experience, get closer seats to see the cast expression to add a new dimension to your encounter with the feline cast.

Colourful Cats
CATS tour 2019, Photo Credit: Alessandro Pinna

As this was our first foray into CATS  the Musical, it was a bit overwhelming to identify all the players on stage. The standout performances such as Rum Tum Tugger, played by George Hinson, was a crowd-pleaser with his larger-than-life persona and gyrating hips that would put any Cats to shame.
CATS tour 2019, Photo Credit: Alessandro Pinna

Joanna Ampil, Grizabella's put on an engaging performance with her heartfelt rendition of 'Memory', one that would prompt us to add the well-known song on our playlist. Nicholas Pound's Old Deuteronomy bellows with this baritone range while George Hinson Rum Tum Tugger set the stage for a musical extravaganza with 'The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball'
CATS tour 2019, Photo Credit: Alessandro Pinna


The Fourth wall
CATS tour 2019, Photo Credit: Alessandro Pinna

The Jellicle Cats love to break the Fourth wall. CATS  had been doing this before it becomes a popular act in the movie. Expect to see Cats dancing up and down the aisles and even with the audience. During the break, you could even head up the stage to take a memorable photo with Old Deuteronomy.

CATS for kids?
CATS tour 2019, Photo Credit: Alessandro Pinna


The entertaining dance routines and colourful costumes would make CATS a choice of kids. There are no real villains in the musical save for the brief appearances of Macavity. His appearance are accompanied by loud bangs and flashes of light which may be sensitive to younger kids. The audience interaction may be a tad intimidating as the Cats look a little menacing with their makeup and 70s punk rock hairstyles.


Enjoy the performances, discount the plot


Unlike the usual musical where there is a distinct storyline (think Aladdin, Matilda and Phantom of the Opera), CATS operates on a loosely defined plot base on one night at the Jellicle night. Fans of structured storyline might get lost in this wildly extravagant production that bounces from one dance routine to another in quick succession. The best way to experience CATS is to just sit back and enjoy the ride!


CATS will be showing at Sands Theatre till 5th Jan 2020. The show is about 2 hours long with a 20 minutes interval. For the best seats in the house, we recommend Aisle seats to see the Cats running up and down the Aisles or seats closer to the stage where you could see the facial expression of the cast.

Get your tickets here.

Disclosure
TWD were  invited to Cats for the purpose of this review  

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