CATS IS AN ENTERTAINING MUSICAL BUT ULTIMATELY SUPERFICIAL

cats at MBS

When it comes to Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ Cats, the only song that came to everyone’s mind is the song Memory. Indeed that is the only hit song from the show. It was this song that spurred me years ago to get hold of a DVD of Cats from a friend. (This was before the days of Youtube.) I remembered being very confused, trying to decipher a storyline out of all the singing and dancing cats. After a while, I gave up on the DVD.

It was then with much trepidation that I attend this Cats, currently showing in MasterCard Theatre in Marina Bay Sands. I was all prepared for an evening of boredom and confusing. After all, I was just there to hear ONE song. It was then a pleasant surprise that, although I was indeed bored at some points, I generally enjoyed myself.

Cats was based on T. S. Eliot’s book of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Hence there is no plot to speak of. The premise of the musical is about a tribe of Jellicle Cats gathering for the annual Jellicle Ball around a rubbish heap, hoping to be chosen by their leader, Old Deuteronomy, to be reborn into a new life.

I remembered a dancer friend who once declared that Cats is a show for dancers. There is something about watching these felines executing the intricate choreography while belting out the high-energy songs that captivates. It is actually a challenging piece of theatre for the performers. The cast practically sings and dance all the way throughout the two-hour show.

And of course, the moment I was waiting for did not disappoint. As washed-out Glamour Cat, Grizabella (played with dripping pathos by Erin Cornell) belts out the hit song, “Memory”, the audience collectively sighs a relief, having waited so long for this moment. We got what we paid for.

It was a fun evening. Entertaining, with good singing and dancing. Nothing deep.

Tickets from SISTIC.

(Gavin Low)

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