Purr-fectly Memorable

November 30, 2019 at 11:24 PM | Posted in Theater | Leave a comment

It was nine years ago when an international tour of Cats had its run in Manila. Being a big fan of musical theater, I was set to watch it but wasn’t able to at the last minute due to unavoidable circumstances. Thankfully, an international tour happened again this year which included a Manila leg. This time I made sure not to miss it.

I was able to catch a limited run of Cats last week at the Theater at Solaire and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Prior to this, I’ve never watched the play before but loved the music when I first heard it as a teenager. Since then it’s always been my dream to watch it someday. Now I’m so glad that I finally did.

I’ve heard some theater snobs say that they didn’t like Cats because it has no plot. While I could partly agree with that, let me just say that the play is based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot about cats. So of course there’s not much of a plot in it! This isn’t Shakespeare! I’ve read some of the poems and I must say I liked them. The play might not have that much plot, but it makes up for it with incredible dance routines.

Full disclosure, I’m a cat person and I grew up with cats in the house. So it’s natural for me to love a play about my favorite animal.

Anyway, it was truly a sight to behold seeing the play for the first time. The actors were all just fantastic and I was amazed by how good they were with the intricate choreography. They were sinewy, graceful and superbly talented as Jellicle cats. Of course I was also proud that our local talent, Joanna Ampil, was cast as Grizabella. I knew she played the role previously in a European tour so I was looking forward to watching her perform. And she pretty much nailed it as Grizabella. I was in tears when she was belting out “Memory.” It was really moving. Aside from “Memory” and “The Jellicle Ball,” another song I loved from the play was “Mr. Mistoffelees,” which was perfectly performed by the cast. And I found myself singing along with them.

This was taken during an intermission in the play.

The costumes were also wonderful and I loved the fact that the actors moved around the theater and engaged with the audience in full character.

I must say watching the play was truly a memorable experience for me.

Taken during an intermission in the play.

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