‘Cats’ National Tour Pays Homage to Musical’s Staying Power

Have you ever been utterly captivated by something you’re seeing but at the same time have absolutely no idea what is going on?

That was me last night: heart racing and eyes glued to the stage at the Music Hall at Fair Park as a live orchestra set the tone for quite possibly one of the most successful–and confusing_musicals of our time. Cats, the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber, opened Dallas Summer Musicals 2019/2020 season last night–and I am officially a fan. The production will be in Dallas through Nov. 17.

So let’s talk about my opening statement.

Yes, I had no idea what was going on–and, yes, I extensively researched the premise of the play and read review after review. And, yes, I can summarize what the story was about–but it’s bizarre, and I don’t think the storyline matters, which is CRAZY!!

To keep it short, Cats is based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. It is a story about a tribe of cats–dressed in tight patterned suits with fuzzy collars, arm warmers, leg warmers, and fuzz headpieces with ears–behaving like, well, cats. Known as the Jellicle Cats, the tribe has gathered for their annual ball to decide which cat will journey to the Heaviside Layer (the cat’s version of heaven) and be reborn. Throw in the one song from the musical that is not from T.S. Eliot’s book, Memory, and you can gather that the musical is probably about acceptance and inclusivity. But that’s just my opinion.

While the paper-thin script can, at times, be funny, this musical is really about the production.

The costumes; gorgeous. The dancing; spectacular. The music; enchanting. The stage decorations, over the top–especially the lighting, which gave the show an extra layer of depth.

It was the epitome of entertainment.

It’s really no wonder this production has had such a long-standing history.

Since its world premiere, Cats has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 15 languages, and has been seen by more than 73 million people worldwide.

Originally opening in 1982 at Broadway’s Winder Garden Theatre, Cats ran for 7,485 performances and 18 years. Cats then returned to Broadway for its 2016 revival at the Neil Simon Theatre, having its final performance on Dec. 30, 2017, after 16 previews and 593 regular performances.

The creative team for the new production of Cats includes John Napier(Scenic & Costume Design), Natasha Katz(Lighting Design), Mick Potter(Sound Design), choreography by AndyBlankenbuehler (based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne), and direction by Trevor Nunn.

Single tickets for Cats start at $25(pricing subject to change) and are available at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 800-982-2787.

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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