Unless you’ve been living in a trash-can for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard that the musical kitties with the coolest names on the block hit the stage at The Venetian, Macau for a limited 10-day stretch.
Like these CATS, I was born in the ‘80s, an era when Andrew Lloyd Webber was the hottest name on the West End, and listening to a cassette (yes, cassette) of Phantom and CATS during family car journeys was a regular thing. I’d never seen this musical but had been itching to since I was a kid, so when I heard the slinky felines were coming to town I couldn’t wait to hop on a ferry to Macau to meet Mr. Mistoffelees and his mates on opening night.
Some friends argue that CATS lacks a unifying storyline and is just a series of character sketches, but any show that leaves me grinning like the Cheshire Cat from start to finish is a class act by my standards. In summary, it was well worth the wait. How can you argue with three hours of pure escapism, as you become hypnotised by the feline shapes, which leap, dance, and lure you into their junkyard fantasy world under the big fat Jellicle moon?
Aside from the dazzling set design and magnitude of the theatre itself, the fact that these performers can pounce around with so much energy whilst flawlessly belting out the classics and not keeling over is impressive enough. And some of their moves (which look like they took years of yoga practise to perfect) will almost make you forget they’re human. But then again, the incredible costumes dramatically help create that illusion.
There are a few surprises thrown in for good measure which made the experience all the more memorable. I wasn’t expecting to hear the timeless classic “Memory” to be sung in Mandarin during the second act, or for the interval playtime when the little minxes leapt from the stage and prowled and flirted their way through the stalls. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for the moment one of them turned on me and hissed as if I’d trodden on his tail! I think that one needs to be neutered!
So I’d say if you’re considering hanging out with the cool CATS in Macau, then go for it. You’ll have those catchy numbers in your head for days. Just don’t do what I did and get so carried away you miss the 1am ferry home. The next one isn’t until 3am and you never know what mischievous tomcats might be lurking around in those early hours!
Tickets to CATS, which runs until March 15 at The Venetian Theatre, are still available via Cotai Ticketing.
Read more! See what else is on around town in our What’s On section.