Hello Kitty: Scaled-down Cats delivers
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is the second longest running musical in Broadway history which only goes to prove that there’s no accounting for popular tastes.
Unlike most crazy-popular musicals, it has no real story. Webber did not hang the play on a conventional plot as he did with The Phantom of the Opera. (Phantom is Broadway’s longest running musical — score one for classic narrative.) Cats was adapted from T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats — a 1939 book of whimsical poetry.
So what we have here is a desultory collection of sketches which allow Webber to trip through a number of musical idioms as he did with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with a Vaudevillian number here, a rock-the-roof-off rouser there, and of course, musical theatre’s ultimate power ballad, Memory, sung in this production with an abundance of wrenching emotion by Susan Gilmour as the tragic Grizabella the Glamour Cat.