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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Can You Say "CAT"atonic?

Let me start by saying this: If you are planning to watch CATS and have not yet seen the show, don't read this post. I give away the ending during this review.

If you are still reading, well, don't say I didn't warn you! =)

The evening was full of promise as Jojo and I headed off to the Pantages Theater. I was looking forward to watching CATS. Before the show, I have been warned that the show is "boring" and that this is the kind of musical that you either really love or really hate - there is no in-between. I figured I would probably be one of those that really loves it since I am a big musical theater fan. Also, I thought how could I not like this production when it is music by the great Andrew Lloyd Weber and when this is THE longest running Broadway musical ever???

Here are Jojo and I while waiting for the show to start.
Two and a half hours later, I have to admit I am not one of those that love this show. Maybe I don't hate it but I do harbor very strong feelings of dislike.

Let me start with the good points. To be fair, the music was fantastic. Andrew Lloyd Weber is a genius. Also, last night's production spared no expense. The stage set was utterly believable and the props and effects were professionally prepared. The strobe lighting, dancing colored lights, the fire-crackers and the fog machines blowing smoke were all nice touches. And yes, the cast was top-notch. Everyone gave it their 110% - such incredible singing voices and fabulous dancers. It was entertaining to see such lithe and yet agile dancers prancing the stage and tumbling to music.

But sadly, all that could not hold my interest and attention. The first 10 minutes of seeing 20 or so actors in imaginative cat costumes singing, dancing and prancing is great - but 2 and 1/2 hours of the same thing was pretty tedious. Each song seemed to be about the same thing and had the same choreography. I could hardly tell when one song ended and the next one began. Also, even if we tried, we could not make out a lot of the words to the songs. I don't think it was the sound system since I've been to the Pantages several times before and never had any complaints. I think it's just that the songs themselves had no meaning. At least none that I could comprehend.

And there lays another sad fact, the whole musical had no discernible storyline. I had read that the whole production is based on poems by T.S. Elliot - but I thought there would be some sort of story or at least a plot to follow. Sadly, that is not the case. It is just a bunch of Jellicle cats (still not sure what they are) singing song after song about what else ... CATS! Fat cats, old cats, magical cats, glamorous cats, wily cats, pirate cats, and all sorts of cats. There was certainly not much humor or drama. There was definitely no romance or mystery. There was totally no heart-warming story with a moral lesson in the end. In fact, it was hard to tell when the whole thing ended since again, there was no real story.

Jojo was in misery - not only was he bored to tears, he was fighting a cold and had to keep from sniffling and coughing all night. In my case, this was the first time I have watched a show wherein I completely felt the intermission came too late and when the 2 & 1/2 hours seemed to drag on and on. I am sorry to be giving such a bad review. Of course, this is just my personal opinion. (Although several people seated around us seemed to agree since a lot of yawning was going on and some folks even left half-way). Anyway, it is safe to say that this is definitely not going on my list of favorite musicals. Perhaps I am not sophisticated enough to enjoy every type of musical theater (I never claimed to be!). It's just so disappointing since the reasons that I love musical theater are for the excitement, the heroes and villains, the plot lines and the over-the-top productions, the feeling that I am part of the show, and the wonderful feel-good feeling I get after the curtains go down. Sadly, last night, I did not get any of that at all.


mom said...

Thanks for sharing. I have always had my suspicions about this broadway musical. It will surely help me decide what to do when this musical production reaches our shore.

Jeff said...

hey jo, i share the same sentiments. it's probably the worst one i've seen so far. i didnt want to comment before you watched it. but now that i think about it, i should have told you earlier. if i did, you may have lowered your expectations and ended up enjoying it a little bit more. hahaha.

joyeee said...

Thats what we heard too.. Thats why when we knew CATS will be showing in MANILA, we didnt buy tickets yet cuz we didnt hear great reviews about it. People say its really all about CATS! ( and that its boring and all..) Thanks for the review. Wont watch it then! I think we have the same taste to the plays we watch... Still love Missaigon, Jersey Boys, Wicked, and Lion King:) I wish there would be more plays here in the Phil! :)

Junarakasa said...

Wow! That was fast. I posted the blog and then went to have dinner. 20 minutes later, I have 3 comments already =)

Anyway, yes, safe to say, I did NOT enjoy the show. And I don't think it's because I had high expectations to begin with ... it was just a sucky show =( Haha.

But, mom and Joy, you should still go see it ... just to say you've seen it ... and who knows you may be one of the few who do like it?!

And Jeff, next time, if you know I'm going to see a "bad show"- a head's up would be nice =)

joyeee said...

I dont think id like to see it...haha i know your taste dets and I must say we have similar tastes! haha:) I hate plays with no story... and if its just all about cats- i dont think I find it very interesting too! haha:) Well its just my opinon too! hahaha:) Thanks for the heads up!

leslie ty said...

oh no! i might need to watch it...i'm not excited anymore since i trust your judgement...sadness =(

anyway...i love the pic jo =) very posh =)