The Lyric Theatre, QPAC in Brisbane
“Well, the theatre is certainly not what it was”
Cats sing about what kind of cats they are… that’s all. There really is no linear plot for this one.
The infamous musical that gave comedians material for 18 years: could it really be as bad as they joshed? It remains the second longest running musical on Broadway so someone must have liked it. With all the notoriety of this show and me being a musical nut, I felt compelled to determine for myself, buying tickets when it blew into my hometown.
The main problem with the show is its subject matter. Various cats sing various songs with varying levels of amusement. I’ve never owned a cat so there could be several cat jokes or feline parodies I didn’t quite catch but the universal nature of the show has been attributed to its success (along with the appeal for tourists who don’t need to know English to follow it). Gillian Lynne‘s choreography is stunning along with the beautifully detailed sets and costumes that seem to only come with Megamusicals. The overture is neat and there are some pretty catchy numbers such as ‘Mungojerrie And Rumpleteazer.’ The show stopper is of course the song ‘Memory‘ which they tease us with excerpts from throughout the show. Sung properly, the song does not disappoint. But then there are the cats you just don’t care for. The second act opens with a theatre cat recalling his life, acting out the theatre’s opera and then reprising his previous song. This is where all the jokes stem from. Cats is not the amazing show its record breaking success may suggest, but neither is it deserving of its reputation as joke fodder.