Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Enduring "memory"

As magical as Mr Mistoffelees, Cats: Now and Forever was quite the extravaganza of music, song and dance that I had hoped it would be. I've been acquainted with the Webber musical since my sis was a schoolgirl, and only now, two decades or so later have I finally been able to see what she had been raving about way back then.

First of all, Cats is not a play. There is a very loose narrative stringing the different numbers together -- a reason for the cats to gather onstage -- but the plot is really just a convenient device for sequencing the scenes in some coherent manner. Most of the scenes themselves are self-contained units, focusing on the story of a particular cat (like the rum-tum-tugger) or cats (like Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser). So there isn't much necessity to interpret a bigger picture than what is already being presented.

What's more important for me is that the music is beautiful, varying in genre and tempo; as is the dance by the ensemble cast, so coordinated, acrobatic and energetic; a total treat for both audio and visual senses. The experience is what counts -- being in and appreciating the moment, every moment. That's where the enjoyment is, at least for me.

I don't know if Momo, Kaiser and Maui would approve of human beings cavorting around impersonating them, though. This kind of thing is only what we people would do; we don't see cats pretending to be us, do we?

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