REVIEW: ‘CATS’ is the musical spectacular that we all know it to be

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Courtesy photo by Matthew Murphy

Dan Hoy as "Munkustrap" and the North American Tour of CATS.

World-wide spectacular and musical classic, “CATS,” had its Wichita premiere at Century II Monday. The show, composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber, centers around a tribe of cats, known as the Jellicle Cats, who have gathered for their annual ball to decide which cat will journey to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn. 

Being it my first time watching “CATS,” it would be an understatement to say that I was confused. There was singing, dancing, a lot of jumping around and lights going everywhere, and my short attention span-self could not concentrate on the story line. 

Fortunately, after a few dozen minutes, I got used to the fast paced movements and finally started to understand the significance behind each character.

Throughout the show, the audience is shown a visual spectacular. 

The dancers, always light on their feet, were spinning and leaping gracefully for minutes at a time. They barely had a few seconds to catch their breath, and yet, they made it look so effortless.

I was in awe of the choreography. It made me wonder how long their dance rehearsals were, and how much endurance they had to build up for this over two hour long show. I just wanted to applaud and say “Bravo!” after every scene.

Although the acting, singing and dancing was spectacular, the show wouldn’t have been as much of a success if not for the lighting. 

The lighting gave the show an extra layer of depth. It added an extra touch of magic, making the junkyard of the Jellicle Cats look like a fantasy wonderland. The lights themselves were a show, but they worked in perfect unison with the movement of the dancers and with the emotions of each scene.

I’m sure the woman with the binoculars sitting three rows in front of me would agree when I say that “CATS” has amazing choreography, magical lighting, powerful voices, and goosebump performances, proving itself to be the musical spectacular it’s known to be.

“CATS” will be at Century II until Wednesday. All performances are at 7:30 p.m.