CATS musical returns by popular demand
Abbey Musical Theatre (AMT) has fond memories of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega musical CATS.
When it was performed in Palmerston North nine years ago, it was the highest attended show ever staged at the Regent on Broadway.
So with the enduring musical still playing to packed houses around the world, AMT decided it was time for CATS to strut the stage again.
Production manager John Spelman says 12,000 people saw the show back in 2007 and, since then, people and performers have asked when it will return.
AMT, in association with the Regent on Broadway, has confirmed the CATS season will growl and prowl from August 12-27.
CATS is a spectacular show and one of John’s favourites which he’s seen many times around the world. ‘‘We’ve bought the impressive set and costumes from the consortium that toured CATS last time and their impact on the audience will be huge,’’ John says.
AMT is very gratified with the line up of talent who’ll star in the production.
‘‘It’s a who’s who of Manawatu performers who’ll move, posture and mimic the story and songs in an unforgettable way,’’ he says.
Already, last year’s MAMMA MIA! choreographer, Teesh Szabo, is working with the cast before codirectors Barry Jones and Gillian Collett take over.
In one of the famous CATS numbers, Grizabella sings ‘‘Midnight, not a sound from the pavement.’’ The words herald an explosion of music and lights as the tribe of Jellicle Cats reunite for one special night to celebrate. They emerge singing about their unique abilities, talents and special traits.
In a stunning sequence of events they introduce themselves, waiting for their wise old leader, Old Deuteronomy, to decide which of them will journey to The Heaviside Layer to be reborn into a new life.
We meet such intriguing moggies as Rum Tum Tugger, Bustopher Jones, Growltiger, Gus the Theatre Cat, Mungojerrie, Rumpelteazer, Skimbleshanks, the magical Mr Mistoffolees and the villainous Macavity.
When Old Deuteronomy arrives, the cats entertain him with a special show which leads into the astounding Jellicle Ball, the great annual dance where all of them celebrate. However, nothing is straightforward. Macavity isn’t a monster of depravity for nothing and attempts to kidnap Old Deuteronomy. Only Rum Tum Tugger, together with Mr Mistoffolees, the conjuring cat, can save the day. Mr Mistoffolees uses his magical powers to try and find
It’s a who’s who of Manawatu performers who’ll move, posture and mimic the story and songs in an unforgettable way. John Spelman
Finally the moment comes for the wise old leader to make his choice. With perfect timing Grizabella returns, recalling her memory of how things used to be. She’s accepted back into the tribe and chosen by Old Deuteronomy to be reborn.
John explains the show expresses every emotion and the action ranges from daring and dangerous to near disaster. However, at the end, Grizabella journeys to a new life on The Heaviside Layer.
AMT’s CATS runs at the Regent on Broadway from August 12-27. Bookings: TicketDirect 0800224224 or contact ticketdirect.co.nz.
A spectacular shot from AMT’s last production of CATS in 2007.