Despite the rain, the unusually heavy traffic and the flooded streets, the family and I headed to CCP yesterday evening to watch CATS.
How can I even begin to describe finally watching CATS live on stage and in person after watching it over and over on video these past couple of decades?
We bought our tickets in January and last night marked the end of a long, excruciating, seven-month wait. The moment the lights came on and the first notes of the overture sounded, I was already fighting back tears. Watching it on video is nothing compared to watching it live.
Photo via CatsinManila
What I enjoyed the most (possible spoilers ahead):
- Before the start of the show and during the intermission, the actors go down the aisles and interact with the audience.
When I was making my way back to my seat, I was surprised by Carbucketty, who rubbed up against me. He and another cat (I didn’t get a good enough look at him to identify him) gamely posed for photos before returning backstage for the second act.
- Memory in Tagalog!
In, “The Moments Of Happiness/Memory“, Sillabub sings a verse of Memory in Tagalog which was such a wonderful touch. It made the performance so personal. I wonder if they did that in the other countries they toured in too.
- Growltiger’s Last Stand!
This scene was not in the video so it was a spectacular surprise. There’s a part in it where Griddlebone does an aria and her voice was phenomenal. Gave me chills!
Photo via CatsinManila on Facebook
- The Rum Tum Tugger has always been my favourite Jellicle cat, and I had very high expectations but John O’Hara did not disappoint. Far from it. I actually like him better than the Rum Tum Tugger on the original London cast recording. If my feet weren’t dying from the heels I wish I hadn’t worn, I would have waited outside the Artists’ entrance to get a photo with him or something haha.
My only qualm (Aside from the neanderthals seated with us on Balcony 1 who refused to sit down properly. I spent a good deal of time watching the back of their heads contemplating their deaths) is a minor one: Lea Salonga, as beautiful and goosebump-inducing her voice is, wasn’t convincing as Grizabella. Her rendition of, “Memory” lacked the anguish and the grit that I loved in Elaine Paige’s performance.
Even so, if I had an extra Php 4,000 I would absolutely watch CATS again before the end of its extended run on August 22. Because Jellicle songs are for Jellicle cats!