effanineffable, deep and inscrutable.

i grew up with the edward gorey illustrated version of t.s. eliot’s old possum’s book of practical cats. the poems about a group of eccentric cats is what andrew lloyd webber used for most of the lyrics to cats. webber introduced the storyline of the heavyside layer, which is like the kitty afterlife, and only one of the cats can raise up during the jellicle moon. the bulk of the songs are treated like testimonials by cats as to why they are worthy to go up to the heavyside layer. once the lights go dark you are in the graveyard with them frolicking around with the sprightly score. cats is horribly/wonderfully dated with spandex, leg warmers, songs heavy on the keyboard and unison singing. the performers seem to really enjoy the show and according to the program more than a few of them have been with the production for years. it seems that the cast live, eat and breath cats.  my only complaint would be about the choreography. the dance numbers, and there are a lot of dance numbers, are very safe and a little too cute for me at times. the strength of the songs and the energy of the performers make the show work. oddly, in the end you find yourself rooting for a cat to die.

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