Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: CATS Lets the Memory Live Again in Jackson


"Are you blind when you're born? Can you see in the dark?" According to iconic lyrics from the aptly named "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" by Richard Stilgoe for one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit shows, Jellicles are and Jellicles do! The national tour of the megamusical phenomenon, Cats, stopped at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson, Mississippi as a part of the Broadway in Jackson series presented by Trustmark on February 13th and 14th to show audience members exactly what the lives of Jellicle Cats look like, specifically on the night of the annual Jellicle Ball. The tour itself is presented by The Shubert Organization, James K. Nederlander, The Really Useful Group, Cameron Mackintosh, Roy Furman, John Gore, Stella La Rue, Grove Entertainment, Burnt Umber Productions, Independent Presenters Network/Al Nocciolino, and Peter May.

Based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot, Cats features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Originally choreographed by Gillian Lynne, the tour features stunning choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler based on that of Lynne. The show also features incredible scenic and costume design by John Napier as well as dazzling lighting design by Natasha Katz. The company utilizes each of these design aspects to bring to life a spectacle that tells the story of the cat colony's yearly ritual, the Jellicle Ball, in which one cat will be chosen to be reborn into a new Jellicle life.

As the show progresses, each cat takes their turn in describing what they've done in this lifetime, from Jennyanydots (Dani Goldstein in the role), a seemingly-lazy cat by day who actually spends her nights teaching mice and roaches to be less pestilent, to a couple of impressive cat burglars (Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, humorously played by Ben Sears and Adriana Negron, respectively), to Giovanni DiGabriele as Skimbleshanks the railway cat, in charge of the night train to Glasgow, and the spectacular PJ DiGaetano playing Mistoffelees, the magical cat who will return Old Deuteronomy (Adam Richardson) to the junkyard to make the all-important Jellicle Choice. Each cat pleads his or her case, with their physical prowess, swagger, or magical abilities, to try to earn themselves a trip to Heaviside Layer, to begin life anew.

Old Deuteronomy, however, is less moved by the younger, more physically impressive and well-liked Cats, instead opting to hear out Grizabella, the glamour cat, as she sings about what her life was like before she became a social outcast, spurned by her peers. Donna Vivino tackles the role of Grizabella, giving the old, once beautiful cat such beautiful character depth, and bringing the house down with her powerful, emotionally charged final verse of "Memory", one of the most well-known show tunes of all time - a moment not likely to be forgotten by any of the audience members.

This production of Cats brings you a show truly like no other. With lighting effects that are out of this world, incredible costumes that perfectly walk the line between feline and something of human creation, captivating choreography, and an all-star cast truly filled to the brim with talent, it's 2 and a half hours of fantastical storytelling and truly must be seen to be believed. Click the link below to see the tour's full itinerary and to find links to purchase tickets!

Related Stories
VIDEO: Feline Friends Meet the Cats of CATS Photo
Theatre is back for everyone, including some real-life felines who were treated to their first viewing of their theatrical namesake, Cats!

It's been a while since the Ronacher Theatre in Vienna invited us to the Jellicle Ball. Six months, two weeks, and one day later, after the whole country went into a never before seen Lockdown. CATS is back, the theatre is back, a glimpse of light in these dark and unpredictable times.

CATS 2019/20  National Tour Announces Early Closing; 2020/21 Tour To Begin Fall 2020 As Pr Photo
BroadwayWorld has learned that the CATS National Tour has officially closed. Donna Vivino (Grizabella) shared the news in a Facebook post.

From This Author - Juliana Asbill

I’m a recent college grad from Madison, Mississippi, having just finished my time at Mississippi College. I'm an assitant teacher in a 2nd grade class and am always kept on my toes! ... (read more about this author)

Review: LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL Turns Jackson Positively Pink!Review: LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL Turns Jackson Positively Pink!
January 24, 2023

Legally Blonde is fun, fashionable, and fabulous - and very pink!

BWW Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Brings a World of Pure Imagination to JacksonBWW Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Brings a World of Pure Imagination to Jackson
March 23, 2022

The Candy Man came to Jackson on Sunday, March 13th, and brought a world of pure imagination with him. As part of Broadway in Jackson’s 2021-2022 season, presented by Trustmark, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s North American tour stopped at Thalia Mara Hall for one night only.

December 26, 2021

Jackson audiences were wowed on Wednesday night, December 22nd as Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular took to the stage of Thalia Mara Hall. Daredevils, aerialists, and acrobats (oh, my!) shocked audience members with gravity-defying stunts.

BWW Review: AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN Lifts Us Up at Thalia Mara HallBWW Review: AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN Lifts Us Up at Thalia Mara Hall
December 22, 2021

Another jukebox musical, this one based on a romantic movie from the 80’s? You might be wondering if that is really a good idea.  Rest assured, the An Officer and a Gentleman the Musical tour does not disappoint in the slightest! 

BWW Review: ANASTASIA Brings Broadway Back to Thalia Mara HallBWW Review: ANASTASIA Brings Broadway Back to Thalia Mara Hall
November 17, 2021

Home, love, family…these are the things that the titular character of Anastasia the Musical longs to find on a grand adventure with a couple of con men as her only companions. Along the way, she’s also hoping to find out just whether or not she is the daughter of the last, late Russian czar, and if she isn’t, then just who is she?