I can’t think of a better introduction to musicals than Cats, which is currently being staged at The Dubai Opera until January 28.
The musical about a troupe of dancing and singing cats called the Jellicles is nothing like I had ever seen before.
As the lights dimmed and the orchestra started to play in the expansive opera, my excitement began to build. I was hilariously startled when a slender, spandex suited performer jumped onto the stage stairs near me, just one of a stream of ‘cats’ who stalked in through the aisles and from the stage.
They kicked off with the song Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats, a fast-paced explanation of what Jellicles can do. Seeing such a large number of performers, all dressed up and dancing together on stage was stunning to witness.
Since I had seats right near the stage, I could see every deft movement and facial expression of the performers, who were so flexible and graceful they might have been cats in a past life.
The Old Gumbie Cat was a performance involving a tap dancing cat and cockroaches — hilarious to watch and a treat if you like tap dancing.
My favourite performance of the night was The Rum Tum Tugger performed by the cat of the same name. It’s a groovy (yes, groovy), sassy track with amazing vocals and a sexy dance sequence that will make you wish you could get up and dance as well.
Maybe it was because this was my first musical, but it was hard for me to understand the storyline and some of the lyrics, but it didn’t matter because I was so enthralled by everything — the dancing, to the costumes and the voices of the amazing performers.
Grizabella belting out Memory towards the end of the show was breathtaking, even more so because it’s not every day I get to listen to a person sing so gloriously in a live setting.
The whole event made me contemplate the arts and how these performers make it their life’s work to entertain audiences. I know that after this, I will be saving up for when another show comes around because some things are meant to be experienced live.
Don’t miss it!
Tickets for Cats begin at Dh275 from dubaiopera.com.