photo by Matthew Murphy
Back by popular demand is right! CATS, playing at the Kimmel Cultural Campus Miller Theatre through March 19th only, was packed last night. It was easy to spot the longtime fans and the kids experience it for the first time (maybe even the first musical for some), too. Needless to say, Philadelphia is excited to see the return of this show.
CATS is not just one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most well-known musicals, it’s an iconic show. If you’re a fan of musical theatre, you know these songs. Even if you have yet to see the show (now is your chance, Philly), you’re familiar with it. The show, based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, debuted on Broadway in 1983 and had an 18 year run! It remains the fourth longest running Broadway show.
From “Memory” to “Mr. Mistoffelees”, from the first notes of the overture to the last notes of the show with Old Deuteronomy, it’s hard not to get chills as the beloved musical is performed in front of you. CATS is phenomenal- the makeup and costumes of course, but the dance numbers from a variety of genres, solo songs, group numbers, rock vibes, choreography. Every scene is different than the last with the styles that are featured and you won’t be able to take your eyes of the stage. Philadelphia audiences will especially be thrilled to see the absolutely outstanding Ibn Snell in the role of Mr. Mistoffelees. His movements and colorful costume will be etched in my brain forever. Seeing the theatre cheer and stand for him was something you have to witness. I could listen to Tayler Harris (Grizabella) sing all day and Hank Santos (Rum Tum Tugger) is such an entertainer. This is a wonderful cast!
I’ve seen a lot of Broadway performances, but there’s a certain energy in the air when CATS is on stage. It’s unlike anything else. Come experience the show for yourself. Tickets are available here. CATS is also part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus family discovery series. Buy tickets to three or more shows and save 10%. Upcoming events are on the website.