"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.