Tuesday October 17th 2017


Recommended***In 1982, Musical theater, as we know it, was revolutionized by the opening of “CATS”. Already a blockbuster hit in London, “CATS” with music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, set to the odes and poems of T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats” and  History was made! No dialogue! Unheard of! Just lots of music and dancing, ah, the dancing and gymnastics! After all, Cats are very athletic ( when they want to be). “Cats” was sheer spectacle , and now over thirty years later, new generations will continue to see what changed the landscape of  Musicals in America.

While the current production, on stage at The Cadillac Palace Theatre as part of Broadway In Chicago’s season, is closer to the original production with the re-introduction of “psychic twins” Coricopat and Tantomile, for some who have witnessed many productions of this classic work are beginning to tire of portions- this is a two and one half hour show, and since it is geared for “family entertainment” perhaps on the next go-round, they should look at cutting some of it down. Recently, our own TheoUbique, a storefront in Rogers Park did a simple version directed/choreographed by Brenda Didier that was absolutely amazing. This was done in a coffee house that holds about 60 guests. This production, while filled with some solid talent and a large energetic cast that plays well with the audience is just to stretched out in this large theater. This is an intimate show so that we get into the personalities of  the felines and see why they are so much like us, or is it that we are so much like them?

The song that we all know and that has been recorded by many stars, “Memory” ( which by the way came from another Eliot work “Rhapsody on a Windy Night”) was handled to perfection by Melissa Grohowski and Nathan Morgan’s voice and range as Old Deuteronomy was magical. Chaz Wolcott’s magical moments of spinning as Mistoffelees and the hip tossing Chris Stevens as Rum Tum Tugger has a great deal of energy.In fact, this cast, all probably younger than the play is filled with the energy to make these “Cats” seem real. The staging is very near to the original, but to be honest, the stage at The Palace is really much larger than this show calls for. Back in the Shubert Days ( for you younger theater audiences, that is now the Bank of America Theatre, formerly, the LaSalle Bank Theatre) that was perfect. It was more intimate bringing performers and audience closer and allowing the audience visits by the “Cats” to feel more natural.

While I would love to see this production, on its next go-round, be in a smaller venue, with a shorened version, I still feel that this is a production that should be seen by generation after generation of theater audiences. It is history! It should be seen and will capture your heart. This production is on a very short leash- only through May 6th with performances”

Thru Friday at 7:30 p.m.,Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at The Cadillac Palace Theatre locate at 151 West Randolph. Here’s something special

Tickets range from $25-$75 and students and seniors can buy in for as little as $14.50 ( just about the price of a 3-D movie for theatrical history, such a deal!) and can be purchased at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, The Broadway In Chicago Ticket Kiosk at Water Tower Place, all Ticketmaster outlets, the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at 800-775-2000 or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com


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