Last night, Jamie and I saw the non-Equity tour of Cats — apparently the longest-running tour ever. 23 years or some shit. Fifth row seats, which put us right in the action. Meow. Immediately, we notice the sets looked a little…puffy. And then Jamie called it: Those are inflatable sets, my friend! It’s true: go here to see for yourself.
Oy! The jokes abound:
“Dancing cats and inflatable sets? Sounds like a recipe for disaster.”
“An inflated set to match an inflated score? You don’t say!”
“Touch me! But just don’t touch the set piece! Or we’ll have to get duct tape! When it loses its air…”
“Do you think the cast has to take turns blowing it up at each engagement?”
“Time to strike the set! Everyone jump on it!”
(We also noticed that Jennyanydots and the rest of the cast weren’t *actually* tap-dancing. The tapping was piped in. The magic of live theatre: exposed!)
Anyway: Despite all its inflated glory, I love Cats, as I reminisced here.
A snippet of my EDGE review follows:
I can remember it like it was yesterday: I was nine years old (I’m turning 30 in a month; you do the math) and Laurie Beechman sang that ubiquitous pop hit, “Memory”, directly to me at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.
That’s right: Laurie Beechman made me gay.
Anastasia Lange, who plays Grizabella in this non-Equity tour of Cats, currently stopping for only a week at the Cadillac Palace, didn’t quite take me to the Heavyside Layer, but she does hit all the right notes. In fact, this rickety production, featuring inflatable sets (no – really!), offers the necessary magic, but with a slightly flat aftertaste.