Tuesday, September 23, 2008

At least I'm not allergic to this type of cat

On Friday night, Ben and I went to see Cats at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake. It was quite the experience...not really what I was expecting, but an adventure nonetheless.

We headed up to Salt Lake and tried to think of somewhere we wanted to eat. I've gotten to eat at a bunch of different Salt Lake restaurants in the last year or so, but I couldn't think of any place for some reason. Fat lot of good my experience is in situations like this! :( Ben decided that we'd find a parking spot and then walk around and see if something caught our eye. Luckily, we found Lamb's Cafe right off 200 South. Since I'd heard really good things about it, we gave it a shot. It was decent...nothing to really write home about, but the food tasted good and the atmosphere was kind of fun. The waitress struggled, though. She kept trying to bring us the wrong table's drinks and food, and she had difficulty remembering what we had already ordered. We survived.

Our timing was perfect, though. We finished with dinner and walked over to the theatre just in time to get in. I didn't know what I was in for, but hey, plays/musicals are usually fun experiences, right?

I'm a Cats virgin. The only thing I know is that it's been on Broadway forever and that the song Memory is from the show. I should have done a little research beforehand, but I figured I'd just go soak in the experience and see how it sat with me. Verdict: strange show. Not much plot. Impressive songs and dancing. I thumbed through the program before it began and didn't eke much out of it except that the characters were listed in 'amphibolical order.' All I could think was, "must Wikipedia later."

The show got underway and I was lost. What were all these cats singing about the 'jellicle ball'? I knew I was new to it all, but I'm an intelligent person...did I somehow miss the class where they taught that vocabulary word? Apparently not, because it's not really a word. As it turns out, the show has a very thin plot at best and all of the songs were just character exposition. Oh, I guess there's a little bit of a scare when the patriarchal character gets kidnapped, but don't worry, they find him in the next song or so. Phew. Also, in case you're wondering, the cast does come out into the audience, but there was no molesting or lap-sitting.

Well, for Broadway's longest-running musical, it wasn't too bad. Neither Ben nor I fell asleep. Good parts: the costumes were pretty amazing; some of the actors' voices were wonderful; it was fun to have a cultural experience like this to add to things I've done in my life. Ben, like me, was a little put out that the show wasn't more cohesive, and both of us were kind of sad that the song Memory held pretty much no meaning in the context of the play. It's a song full of heart-wrenching and angst...but it was kind of an afterthought in the midst of all of the Cats introducing themselves. Beautiful song. Horrible placement. But who am I to argue with Andrew Lloyd Webber?


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