Based on a T.S. Eliot work with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats has been a theatre favorite since its 1981 opening. And, judging by DPAC’s revival-production, under the direction of Trevor Nunn, it’s easy to see why the show is such a hit. Filled with incredible movement and eye-catching costumes, the production is absolutely beautiful fun from start to finish.
The beauty starts when the cats with their glowing eyes make their way down the aisles. Under the bright full moon and shimmering lights, the audience quickly discovers that these colorful, diverse cats have gathered for their yearly meeting, one with a very special purpose.
Before getting to that purpose, however, each of the Jellicle cats gets introduced with a special song, each one more intriguing than the one before. “The Old Gumbie Cat” number is one of the show’s most fun, featuring fabulous tap dancing. Other standouts include “Macavity, the Mystery Cat” and “Memory,” gorgeously performed by the beautiful-voiced Grizabella (Keri Rene Fuller).
Grizabella isn’t the show’s only memorable character either. There’s also funny fat cat Bustopher Jones, portrayed to pompous perfection by Timothy Gulan, and old, shaky Gus, who is also brought to life by Gulan. All of the cats, with their wildly different personalities, delight the audience.
And, in addition to the cats themselves, the show’s use of movement proves thoroughly entertaining. Featuring feline acrobatics and Andy Blankenbuehler’s incredible choreography based on Gillian Lynne’s original choreography, Cats is truly poetry in motion.
More of a spectacle than a traditional musical, Cats offers a unique theatre-going experience that everyone should see at least once. DPAC’s production, however, is so fantastical that you’ll probably want to see it several more times over!
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents CATS at 7:30 p.m. June 5 and 6, 8 p.m. June 7, 2 and 8 p.m. June 8, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. June 9 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.
TICKETS: $37 and up, plus taxes and fees. Click here to enter the digital lottery for $35 tickets.
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or https://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/369510/843992.
GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.
SHOW: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/cats and https://www.facebook.com/events/2083880324977426/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/user/catsmusical.
DPAC NEWS RELEASES: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/dpac-announces-digital-rush-lottery-for-cats and https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/cats-on-sale-at-dpac-on-december-6.
DPAC‘S 2018-19 “IT’S OUR NEW YORK, NEW YORK” SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: https://www.dpacnc.com/suntrust-broadway/season/2018-2019-broadway-season.
THE TOUR: https://ustour.catsthemusical.com/, https://www.ibdb.com/tour-production/cats-518856, https://www.facebook.com/CatstheMusical/, https://twitter.com/catsbroadway, and https://www.youtube.com/user/catsmusical.
TOUR CAST: https://ustour.catsthemusical.com/our-people/cast/.
CREATIVE TEAM: https://www.ibdb.com/tour-production/cats-518856.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939 book of poetry): https://www.bl.uk/works/old-possums-book-of-practical-cats (The British Library) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Possum%27s_Book_of_Practical_Cats (Wikipedia).
The Book: http://books.google.com/ (Google Books).
T.S. Eliot (Angl-American poet/lyricist, nee Thomas Stearns Eliot, 1888-1965): https://www.britannica.com/biography/T-S-Eliot (Encyclopædia Britannica), http://www.eliotsociety.org.uk/ (T.S. Eliot Society), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/ts-eliot-8808 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0253672/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._S._Eliot (Wikipedia).
Cats (1981 West End and 1982 Broadway): http://www.catsthemusical.com/ (official website), http://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/shows/?show=Cats (Andrew Lloyd Webber web page), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-show/cats-2449 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173714/ (Internet Movie Database: 1998 film), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cats_(musical) (Wikipedia).
Study Guide: http://www.tuts.com/Images/SeasonShowDocs/cats_study.pdf (Theatre Under the Stars of Houston, TX).
Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber (music): http://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/ (official website), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-Baron-Lloyd-Webber-of-Sydmonton (Encyclopædia Britannica), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/andrew-lloyd-webber-12073 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0515908/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Lloyd_Webber (Wikipedia).
Trevor Nunn (additional lyrics for “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats” and “Memory”): https://www.britannica.com/biography/Trevor-Nunn (Encyclopædia Britannica), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/trevor-nunn-15788 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0638080/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Nunn (Wikipedia).
Sir Richard Stilgoe (additional lyrics for “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats”): http://richardstilgoe.com/ (official website), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/richard-stilgoe-8326 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0830206/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stilgoe (Wikipedia).
REVIEWER: Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click https://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.triangleartsreview.com/, http://www.susiepotter.com, and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.