The ‘CATS’ meow in Denver |

The ‘CATS’ meow in Denver

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news

Yellow glowing eyes creep through the aisles. Cats suspiciously slink their way up to the larger-than-life props on stage. They rest ona junkyard where a tribe called the Jellicle Cats meet annually on the full moon to celebrate their special traits.Each cat has its own personality, its own story and its own stunning look. Through their song, dance, lighting and costumes, they embody the essence of Broadway theater.The latest national tour of “CATS,” presented through the weekend in Denver, contains all the grandeur and precision of a Broadway production. It is the only North American tour sanctioned by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (who also created “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and more). From the beginning, the cats draw their onlookers into a visceral world, where agility and pride rule.Amidst their Jellicle Ball, the cats reveal their individuality: Victoria, a young white cat stretches and balances gracefully, Jennyanydots lounges all day, Rum Tum Tugger woos females with his Elvis-pelvis-thrusting ways, a team of pranksters cartwheel across stage, hell-cat Macavity sends shutters through the entire theater and Grizabella not only soothes, but also inspires the audience with her ravishing rendition of “Memory.”Though the Buell Theatre offers very inexpensive tickets for this weekend’s production, “CATS” is one show you definitely want to get up-close and purr-sonal with. It’s well worth the extra money to sit as close to the stage as possible, because the artistically painted faces, the ornate costumes and, mostly, the captivating, supple, playful movements of the dancers are most intriguing when you can soak in all of the details. However, heed this warning: You’re walking into what could be defined as home of the alley cats, so get ready for loud, thunderous music that sometimes turns quite discordant.

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