Friday, October 21, 2022

Broadway in Tucson Review: "Cats"

"Cats" is musical comfort food. What it lacks in coherence and structure it makes up for in energy and a "wow" factor.

Andrew Lloyd Weber's madcap exploration into the plight of mankind through the lens of anthropomorphic felines is a Rorschach test. You can peer into its glittery soul and extract different impressions no matter how many times you see it.

Acrobatic choreography, remarkable synchronicity with a playful orchestra and solos given to improvisational flourishes punctuate the show. 

The touring cast -- laden with dancers clawing at the door of the Broadway big time -- pulses with standouts. Most impressive were the boisterous John Anker Bow as Bostopher Jones, Gus and Peter, silk-smooth Allyson Duarte as Jellylorum and bellowing Hank Santos as Rum Tum Tugger.

Ibn Snell cuts a wily figure as Mistoffelees, Taryn Smithson crafts a playful Rumpleteazer and John Zamborsky is a scene-stealer as Skimbleshanks.

Peppered with moments of absurd comedy, lingering insight and you'll-never-see-that-again spectacles, "Cats" is a mesmerizing experience that pounces on your senses with effortless grace. Even as it manages to furrow your brow in constant confusion, it plasters a smile on your face and sends tingles down your spine.

"Cats" plays through Sunday at Centennial Hall. Buy tickets here. 

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