All Photos By Matthew Murphy, Murphymade

CATS at The Saenger Theatre: A Jellicle Ball Worth Attending

22:30 December 15, 2021
By: Kimmie Tubré

The strange, yet remarkable tale CATS is currently playing at the Saenger Theatre and we couldn't be more excited. The record-breaking musical and dance event by Andrew Lloyd Weber has fascinated audiences since its opening in 1981 and has dazzled with performances in over 30 countries and in 15 languages. Now back and touring North America, the show is better than ever.

What started from the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot resulted in the fourth longest running Broadway Show to hit the stage. From the words of the poems, Andrew Lloyd Weber adapted those words into a musical spectacular that tells the story of the Jellicle cats who have come together for their annual Jellicle Ball. The objective of the ball is to decide which one of the cats will ascend to the Heaviside layer, which is their version of heaven. There, they will be reborn into a new and better life. In order to be chosen, they must perform, which leads to the show itself where the audience watches contenders being introduced, either by themselves or by other cats. During the show you are introduced to several stunning characters including the narrator Munkustrap, the wise cat Old Deuteronomy, the villain Macavity, and the shabby Grizabella, who sings the musical's most memorable song, "Memory."

At the Saenger Theatre, the show contains the traditional stage set in a junkyard with oversized appliances and junk that is created to be proportionate to the size of the cats. While the backdrop of the set never changes, you are constantly entertained and enthralled by the realistic and constant cat-like movement of actual humans playing cats. With the synchronized dancing and stunning voices, the performance received a standing ovation. It was a pleasant feeling seeing a classic piece of work live at one of New Orleans' favorite historic theaters.

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