-feature photo by Matthew Murphy
1999. That’s the last time our city hosted CATS, a musical from Broadway legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh, and based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The classic show is one of Broadway’s biggest hits and forth-longest running production (opening in 1982, closing in 2000 with a revival in 2016) to date. It won seven Tony Awards (including Best Musical), and the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album.
This is the perfect family show. The music, visuals, and breathtaking sets will keep everyone, especially children, on the edge of their seats. For theatre-lovers or fans of CATS, you’ll enjoy this revival with new choreography (from Hamilton‘s Andy Blankenbueher), stunning costumes, and of course, some of Broadway’s most popular songs.
If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, you can do it here on the Kimmel Center’s website. You’ll be whisked away to an enchanting evening where the Jellicle cat tribe comes to life and gathers for their annual ball. Watch as they sing and dance their ways across the stage, watch as they decide which cat will be reborn.
Keri Rene Fuller, as Grizabella, is a stand-out in this production. We all know “Memory”; a song that has been recorded by over 150 artists. There’s a lot of pressure to sing something so beautiful and so beloved, but she does it with such ease…obvious by the enormousness round of applause after her performance in Act One. Tion Gaston as Mistoffelees and McGee Maddox as Rum Tum Tugger were incredible. The musical numbers featuring these characters were major highlights of the show. John Napier’s scenic and costume designers are worth the price of the ticket alone.
It’s been twenty years since CATS was in Philadelphia. Maybe you saw it back then. Maybe you have children now. Or grandchildren. Maybe it’s time for them to experience their first musical too. Relive the magic of this show together; it’s one-of-a-kind.