It’s just the Cat’s whiskers

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Denise Carter

CATS at the Queens­land Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre is a re­mark­able re­vis­it­ing of An­drew Lloyd Web­ber’s work.

Based on TS Eliot’s Old Pos­sum’s Book of Prac­ti­cal Cats, and re­vived for “a new gen­er­a­tion” at Lon­don’s Pal­la­dium, CATS has had the in­put of the orig­i­nal cre­atives from com­poser Web­ber, to di­rec­tor Trevor Nunn, chore­og­ra­pher Gil­lian Lynne, and de­signer John Napier.

Pre­sented by Lunch­box The­atri­cal Pro­duc­tions, the CATS per­formed at the Lyric Theatre con­cluded with a stand­ing ova­tion from the au­di­ence.

It is a real treat for those wan­der­ing down mem­ory lane and to new vis­i­tors to the CATS world.

There’s a crack­ing cast – Delta Goodrem is pow­er­ful as Griz­abella, the glam­our cat, a rather more gritty look­ing call­girl ver­sion of the washed-up cat in mas­sive high heels – how she moved around at all is a won­der.

Al­though Goodrem may ap­pear too young for the role, her per­for­mance is well acted and nu­anced, and highly emo­tive in her ul­ti­mate per­for­mance of Mem­ory in the se­cond act – she has a beau­ti­fully pure, non-op­er­atic voice, that filled the theatre.

This re­viewer’s mem­ory of CATS in Dublin was that it was a bit long, with the mu­sic a bit repet­i­tive, but this pro­duc­tion seems to have tight­ened up all the lag­ging bits.

It’s a dy­namic cast all round, with plenty of va­ri­ety to the cats’ per­for­mances as they tell their tales from the de­light­ful dou­ble act of pranksters Mun­go­jer­rie (Brent Os­borne) and Rumpleteazer (Do­minique Hamil­ton) with their play­ful ac­ro­bat­ics, to the newly in­vented rap vibe of the Rum Tum Tug­ger (Daniel As­setta), and the de­li­cious jazz num­ber that is Ma­cav­ity.

Mr Mistof­fe­les (Christo­pher Faval­oro) is a stand­out for his ath­leti­cism and 24 fou­etes and the method for his dis­ap­pear­ance at song’s end is very clever.

Gus (Josh Piter­man), the theatre cat’s num­ber is very en­joy­able as is the Rail­way Cat’s ( Ross Han­ni­ford), and the Jel­li­cle Choir and choral work in gen­eral is very strong.

The show has a fan­tas­tic set, great cos­tumes, the di­rec­tion is slick and it is in­spir­ing to see pure jazz chore­og­ra­phy once more on stage.

CATS at the Lyric Theatre is a pro­found suc­cess and a must see for lovers of dance and mu­si­cals.

Pic­tures: Ha­gen Hop­kins and Will Braden.

Jade Coutts as the white cat, Vic­to­ria, in the Bris­bane pro­duc­tion of Cats at QPAC. Below: Purr-fect com­pan­ions in Cats and Delta Goodrem as Griz­abella.

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