dmwnc1959 said: "Have this coming up next Sunday in Pittsburgh, and just upgraded a few rows to a front row balcony. Very excited! Any updates on how the tour is looking, cast members of note, scenery or costume thoughts, and what the souvenir stand has? Definitely buying at least a window card, magnet and cup. Thanks for any updates!"Donna Vivino is Grizabella!
hamiltonstradition said: "Donna Vivino is Grizabella!" Just checked the other tour cast - last I saw McGee Maddox was in the An American in Paris national tour as Jerry Mulligan...https://ustour.catsthemusical.com/our-people/cast/
Little article in today’s Pittsburgh online newspaper...https://triblive.com/aande/theater-arts/cats-struts-into-pittsburghs-benedum-center/
dmwnc1959 said: "There was a song in the show today I can’t nail down in the 1983 OBCR I’ve been listening to. It had to do with ‘dogs bark, bark, barking, all over the park’ and some of the cast donned what look like shoe boxes on their feet and hands. Does anyone know which song this is?"It's "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles", which has not been recorded in the OLC or OBC, but you can see it in the 1998 DVD. It was performed after the arrival of Old Deuteronomy in Act 1 but some recent productions have in at the beginning of Act 2 instead of Growltiger's Last Stand
So, CATS. There’s just a lot to unwrap from this show it’s mind-boggling. Having seen the recent movie (yes, I saw it four times, and it took that long to sink into my brain) I was more excited about seeing the show as the day approached.The matinee on Sunday, March 1st was well attended and the weather pre-show allowed for CATS fans and new comers alike to line up in front of the Benedum Center and get chatty. Lots of enthusiasm and anticipation followed patrons to their seats (I was front row balcony near center) and then the house lights went dark as the first notes of CATS began. And then they appeared.I felt a sudden pang of flashback to the same numbness I experienced when watching the movie, a sort of WTF moment when they came out one at a time and then all grouped up, all decked out in their cat outfits and make-up. Cats everywhere. By time the show ended I was still sort of wondering what I just saw. And what CATS is, well, it’s one of those shows that’s so unique in the history of theater that it defies description. Love it, hate it, or even if you’re indifferent, it really can’t be ignored once it starts. It’s mesmerizing.The vocals were for the most part all very good, especially in Old Deuteronomy (the entire cast harmonizing) and in Memory at the end when the music hits its crescendo and Grizabella belts out... TOUCH ME!!!! IT’S SO EASY TO LEAVE ME... it felt like a blast hit me with chills head to toe. Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat song is just a lot of fun with the assembled train engine. And when Magical Mister Mistoffelees “appears” in his flashy jacket all sorts of colorful craziness ensues.The dancing at times just never stopped and went on for several hours. That’s an exaggeration, of course. But it felt like it during two particular very long sequences of dance. This show is just non-stop dancing, and singing, and all sorts of choreography to the point it felt like it wore me out.And as much as they talked about him I was sort of surprised at just how little you saw of MacCavity (compared to the movie). He kept flashing in and out of the shadows until the big fight? Is that what it was?The Jellicle Choice and the way the Journey to the Heaviside Layer was done was fairly cool. I think my jaw hit the floor. One of the best parts of the show.As for souvenirs I bought the window card, magnet, tote bag, souvenir program, and mug (the yellow cat eyes appear when you pour in hot liquid).I’m glad I saw this. I think maybe it deserves better from me, and I wish I had the money to give it multiple viewings like I did with the movie. Did I enjoy this +2hr-long acid trip? Yes, I think I did. Would I see this again? Yes. Given the right price and seats. But for now I can check this one off of my To-Do list.
dmwnc1959 said: "As for souvenirs I bought the window card, magnet, tote bag, souvenir program, and mug (the yellow cat eyes appear when you pour in hot liquid).I’m glad I saw this. I think maybe it deserves better from me, and I wish I had the money to give it multiple viewings like I did with the movie. Did I enjoy this +2hr-long acid trip? Yes, I think I did. Would I see this again? Yes. Given the right price and seats. But for now I can check this one off of my To-Do list."For what you spent on souvenirs, you probably could have bought another ticket... I mean, holy cow!
jimmycurry01 said: "For what you spent on souvenirs, you probably could have bought another ticket... I mean, holy cow!"I collect souvenirs. It’s my hobby. And they are my connection back to the show. These window cards, Playbills, show programs, souvenir programs, mugs, magnets, etc. decorate my entire living room and corner of my office space at work. My souvenirs from CATS were a staggering $80, and they now grace my home and office. I’m sure I could have stayed for the evening show - maybe bought a last minute nose-bleed section ticket for cheap or front orchestra for $125 - but since my matinee was the next to last performance of this run in Pittsburgh, and considering my drive back to WV and having to work the next day, I thought it best to Let the Memory Live Again and again though my pictures and souvenirs. CATS is coming to Columbus next year so I may go over and see it again, sort of like what I’m doing with Wicked in May. But I have an entire 2020/2021 season of shows coming to Pittsburgh (yet to be announced) that may forgo any side trip to see this feline odyssey again. Until then I can always buy the 1998 movie off of iTunes and watch it if I start getting hairballs or an itch from withdrawals to see it again.
dmwnc1959 said: "I think maybe it deserves better from me, and I wish I had the money to give it multiple viewings"It doesn't. It's terrible. It has always been terrible. It will always be terrible.Why torture yourself trying to like something that is completely unlikable?Donate the money to charity or something. Do something good for the world instead of doing what people all around the world have done for 25 years ie pay money to see a show that is so bad it should've been closed down after the first performance.There's nothing wrong with you, it's an awful show that you thought was awful...it's NOT just you!Accept what 90% of the people who've seen it accepted long ago, it is possible to hate a terrible show and move on with your life x
Just saw the tour in New Haven Ct., and a few things disappointed me. There are no more large strings of lights, especially missed during The Jellicle Ball, no more Cats on a flying trapeze, no more Mr. Mistoffelees special effects, no more opening car trunk and the Rum Tum Tugger no longer crashes through the backdrop anymore.The "magic" is sadly gone, except for the iconic tire. However, the tire used to move even more forward than it does now. I do not care for the ascension to the Heavyside layer as it used to be much better. In my opinion this new way looks ridiculous like Peter Pan.The 10 piece orchestra sounded great and full but there were kids who were attending their first show and they were disappointed to not see a live orchestra in the pit. They made announcement that the orchestra was live but I missed having them in the pit. It worked better on Broadway both times without the orchestra because of the set design, but it doesn't work on tour. Very sadly, there was no photo op during intermission anymore. This was always a highlight for the kids, so they really had nothing special besides the show to take home as a "memory".I did enjoy Donna Vivino very much. She sent chills down my spine when she hit the high point of Memory. She played the role terrifically and honestly. I even noticed she was getting fed up when some Cats stopped other Cats from reaching out to her. I really miss Growltigers Last Stand as the Awful Battle of the Pekes and Pollicles just looks clumsily put together and slows down the great music and action. The barking was getting annoying. Each time I see the scene never grows on me.Half of the set was inflatable and you could even see in the back upper right hand side where it was not fully inflated and appeared to be wrinkled. It was an improvement from the fully inflatable tour set from last time.So there you have it.... For first timers, they would enjoy for not knowing what they missed, but some would probably be disappointed to not see a live orchestra. I missed the show for what it used to be but enjoyed the music, the harmonies, the lighting design and the sound design. Still great to see the show again, but it felt incomplete. Donna though was really spectacular and I did notice they slowed down Memory so she held some notes a little longer and song ran a little longer. They even play it a little longer during the play out music.
I adored the show when I saw the original staging in London and it was immediately apparent why, in its day, it became an immediate international phenomenon. The experience doesn't translate as well with a proscenium stage. I did enjoy it on tour many years ago, but the magic of the immersive experience simply can't be replicated with a proscenium. I don't think it's a "terrible" show at all. It's certainly an easy target for ridicule, especially for those who constantly insist it should be something it's not and was never intended to be. I think updated staging, costumes, choreography and orchestrations with the original immersive vision could breathe new life into the show again, but retreading cheap knockoffs of something that was highly innovative nearly 40 years ago was never going to be a good idea. It's never really been away long enough for nostalgia to kick in, so it needs something fresh.The movie could have been inspired, but it appears as though someone had an interesting idea and then gave it to all the wrong people.
Yes, I agree the proscenium does not work and doing away with the string lights was a bummer for me. At least the show is close to the original form on the Oasis of the Seas.
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