Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Based on “old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” By T. S. Eliot
Directed & Choreographed by Marc Robin
Music Direction by Ryan T. Nelson
At Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire
Cats triumphs into out hearts in Marriott’s thrilling production
In 2003, Marc Robin (winner of 15 Jeff Awards for musical direction & choreography) mounted the first regional production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. That production became the best selling show in Marriott’s history. It also was their most requested show. Well, Marc Robin is back with a refreshingly new production of Cats – now after 23 years on Broadway (1981-2003) and 7,485 performances on Broadway – Cats is the second longest running show in Broadway history! Marc Robin has directed Cats for the tenth time in this 2014 Marriott production. It is a thrilling artistic achievement; flawlessly staged and wonderfully choreographed and danced.
Based on British poet T. S. Eliot’s poems, Cats is a dance show with the lyrics of the songs coming from Eliot’s poems. The magic of Cats comes from the feline-like atmosphere created by the terrific costumes (by Nancy Missimi), from the innovative lighting (by Jesse Klug) and , of course, from the authentic hauntingly distinct score by Andrew Lloyd Webber faithfully musically directed by Ryan T. Nelson.
But, the key to Cats is always the cast and the choreography. In this thrilling production, under Marc Robin’s flawless direction and meticulous attention to details, Cats has never charmed and danced better. Robin has his energetic cast sauntering through the theatre and mixing throughout the audience spreading cat-charm in abundance.
From the introductory “Jellicle Songs” were are catapulted into the cat world as we attend the Jellicle Ball in which the leader cat, Old Deuteronomy ( Matthew R. Jones) will select the cat to be re-born just before dawn. We meet a variety of unique cat types: the old Gumbie cat, Bustopher Jones to Macavity and others. Each of these cats sparks a whimsical musical number.
The hook song that binds the show together, “Memory” is sung emotionally rich by Heidi Kettenring, who also non-verbally “sells” the song as she sees her younger glamorous reflected self, making her performance special. Add Matthew R. Jones’ operatic voice and this production of Cats boasts strong vocals to augment the extraordinary dancing.
Take the whole family to Marriott Theatre to experience a world class production of one of the most beloved musicals ever- Cats. They’ll love you for taking them to “The Jellicle Ball!”
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2014
For more info checkout the Cats page at theatreinchicago.com
At Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, IL, call 847-634-0200, www.marriotttheatre.com, tickets $40 – $48, Wednesdays at 1 & 8 pm, Thursdays & Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 4:30& 8 pm, Sundays at 1 & 5 pm, running time is 2 hours, 15 minutes with intermission, through May 25, 2014