PROVIDENCE — If you'd like to be razzled, dazzled and royally entertained this weekend, you'd better move ... well, as quick as a cat!
"CATS," the purrrfectly perennial favorite by celebrated composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, is on stage now at the Providence Performing Arts Center, but only through Sunday. And if you're a cat-lover or fan of this blockbuster musical, with its signature song, "Memory," and costumed kitties meandering around the stage – you will not want to miss this production. Lively, electric and exciting, the choreography in "CATS" is beyond breathtaking.
From the set to the lights (multi-colored and strung along from on-high) to the dancing, singing and acrobatics, the musical, inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem ''Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," is one enormous, enjoyable extravaganza.
The audience on Thursday night was over the moon (and there was a glorious full moon that hung over the junkyard stage) with the cats and their performances and hooted and hollered at their favorite parts and favorite felines. The large and lumbering Old Deuteronomy was a beloved (Brandon Michael Nase was excellent in his dual roles of Victor and Old Deuteronomy) as was Grizabella (Keri René Fuller,) Rumpelteazer (Rose Iannaccone,) Mungojerrie (Tony d'Alelio) and oh that Mistoffelees (Tion Gaston was a phenom — and wait 'til you see his sparkling, colorful jacket!)
From the moment the Jellicle cats (Phillip Deceus as Alonzo, McGee Maddox as Bill Bailey/Rum Tum Tugger, Lexie Plath as Bombalurina, Mariah Reives as Cassandra, PJ DiGaetano as Coricopat, Liz Schmitz as Demeter, Kaitlyn Davidson as Jellylorum, Dan Hoy as Munkustrap, Timothy Gulan as Peter/Bustopher Jones/Asparagus, Tyler John Logan as Plato/Macavity, Anthony Michael Zas as Pouncival, Ahren Victory as Sillabub, Ethan Saviet as Skimbleshanks, Halli Toland as Tantomile, Devin Neilson as Tumblebrutus, Caitlin Bond as Victoria, along with Zachary S. Berger, Nicholas Burrage, Erin Chupinsky, Maria Failla, Justin W. Geiss, Charlotte O'Dowd, Adam Richardson, Tricia Tanguy and Andy Zimmermann) meandered into the junkyard, the excitement purrrmeated the theatre.
The cats hopped on and off the stage and into the aisles, and danced and danced and danced to the music which was directed and conducted by Eric Kang.
As the woman who sat in front of us said, "It's such a bright spot during these dark political times."
Indeed, "CATS," will take you on a fantastical journey and a fabulous escape for two delightful hours. But remember, be as quick as a ... cat.