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Palos Verdes CATS cast 
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
^Mmmhm, I've also noticed, based off of the few pictures I've seen, that they're not using your (VTWC) makeup designs; they look like Candlelight's makeup.

Well, I'm seeing the show tomorrow night. I don't know if I'll write a report then, as I'll be getting home quite late. But I'll have one up on Sunday.


Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:36 pm
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
Just got back from the show. Figured I'd share my thoughts while they're fresh in my head.

This was probably the most fun I've ever had watching Cats. This cast is giving 110%, and then some! I could tell they were having a blast on stage, and their enthusiasm was infectious. I do have some critiques, but overall I had a lot of fun tonight.

To give some general details: the theater is really small, which is great for the intimacy. However, it's a bit cramped, so unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of interaction with the cast. They do run through the aisles and the front row throughout the show. When I first walked in, I thought the stage looked too small, which had me concerned. But it worked fine. The set doesn't extend out beyond the stage, due to the theatre's size. I felt that our seats in row D were the perfect distance from the stage. Front row seemed way too close. During the final number, the dry ice was all over the first two rows, and people were coughing and fanning it away from them! Kinda funny. While I was reading the playbill before the show, I noticed that it doesn't list Grizabella the Glamor Cat after Rum Tum Tugger. I had a mini heart attack! Turns out it's a typo, thank goodness.

Anyway, on to the actual show itself. I'll start with what I liked.
Again, the energy was unbelievable. In fact, I would even say it was a little too much; if they took it down a few notches, it would've been a bit more.....graceful. It felt like at times they were in a hurry! But still, it was pretty darn impressive. There are a few little extra touches sprinkled throughout the show, which gave this production some personality. I won't spoil them.
I'll admit, I was disappointed when I found out that the music is pre-recorded. But to my surprise, it actually worked really well. The Jellicle Ball was particularly thrilling. I didn't miss a live orchestra at all, to be honest.
I absolutely love this Rum Tum Tugger. He's totally going for an Elvis vibe, and he does it so, so well. Very entertaining.
This Macavity is unbelievable. He was probably the most athletic person in that entire the cast. My jaw dropped to the floor when he first appeared. The lighting for the fight scene was great too.
Adorable Jennyannydots. The tap dancing was top notch.
Growltiger and Griddlebone were hysterical. I don't know if this was planned or not, but at one point, she flicked her tail and made Growltiger's microphone buzz, which made him pause and look mortified. The audience was eating it up.
Electra <3 Loved seeing her on stage! She's a great dancer too. Super cute!

Now for my critiques....
The show is LOUD. I think the noise level would be fine for a big theater, but not for this tiny theater. My ears were ringing when I was driving home. Next time, I'm going to bring ear plugs. Though, I have more sensitive ears than most, so maybe it was just me. My boyfriend didn't seem to mind it.
They could've done more with the lightning, especially during the Jellicle Ball. It was sort of the same colors throughout, with a few expections.
Though I felt that Gus' acting was fine, I felt that the actor playing him was way too young. He could've done more with his voice to sound older. Also, his Bustofer Jones was a bit dull.
I love Jake Dupree, don't get me wrong. His Tumblebrutus in the La Mirada production was my favorite part of that entire show. He's an amazing dancer, BUT... he's not really a ballet dancer. That was my problem with his Mistofelees. He was doing a ton of backflips, which was neat, but his pirouettes left a bit to be desired.

And the worst part.....
I'm sorry to be harsh, but this Grizabella is terrible. That was absolutely the worst peformance of "Memory" I've ever sat through. It was like she didn't understand the character at all. Her movement was all wrong. She shouted the entire song, which is my biggest pet peeve. Her belt was unimpressive. Her acting was bad. I was cringing the whole way through. Super disappointing.

But overall, it's a pretty solid show.


Last edited by Cptn. Wazoo on Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:44 am
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
I figured maybe I should talk about the location too. The theater is located across the street from a nice shopping mall. There is a Peruvian restaurant, Vietnamese, pizza place, Rubio's, Starbucks, and Rubie's Diner. There isn't a whole lot else in terms of places to hang out. I did notice on the way there that there's a botanic garden. That might be nice to check out in between the two shows.


Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:16 am
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
I'd love to read more about what others think of this show. I attended the opening night performance on Friday (Apr 24th) and was very pleased. I, too, was disappointed by Grizabella's "Memory" at the climax of the show, but it didn't detract from an otherwise enjoyable performance. I was actually more bugged by some of the technical difficulties with sound, like the feedback that interrupted the touching Memory reprise at the end of Moments of Happiness. Also, particularly during Naming of Cats, it seemed like the sound mixing didn't adequately advance the gain on some of the actors solo lines; either that or there mobile packs were off.

But overall, the show was easily on par with other regional renditions I've seen (San Diego, La Mirada). I was worried when I first saw the size of the stage and wondered how they'd make it work with a full-sized cast. But they did and I saw no collisions or jams; even during the large ensemble choreography of scenes like Jellicle Songs opening, Song of the Jellicles, Skimbleshanks or Mr. Mistoffelees, everyone meshed well, which was extraordinary for an opening night (I thought.)

I'd like to think that Gina D'Acciaro's difficulty with the crescendo of Memories was the result of too much emotion and opening night jitters since, when I first heard her vocal tone during Act 1, I was super-excited to hear a different voice/rendition than the Elaine Paige style, which has become a prototype of the role. She sounded great in the lower register and in lower volume, but unfortunately lost it as she ramped up the volume to belt out the higher notes after the duet portion with Sillabub. I really believe musical direction could harness her and keep her from exceeding the range of her vocal limits and work within the otherwise excellent texture quality of her voice, which would maybe offer a new and fresh take on the signature song.

Other than that, all of the voices were wonderful, if maybe a little too rambunctious in some of the ensemble portions. If I were to single anyone out (which I hate to do), it would be Kirklyn Robinson (Jellylorum/Griddlebone). Wow. This was my first time hearing her, and it's plain she's captured her mother's (Debbie Prutsman) genes. I look forward to seeing and hearing more from her.

The music is prerecorded, which is something I don't tend to like, but I presume is a necessary limitation due to budget or maybe lack of a pit? It might not normally be a detraction, but I found some of the transitions to be jarring and I believe there was a technical glitch during Mr. Mistoffelees' piece in which the music looped or something. Jake Du Pree did a pretty good job of improvising and I'm not sure most of the audience even noticed.

This was my first time seeing a show at the Norris Theatre, and I must say there doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the house. I was in near the back in Orchestra, but felt I was in VIP section. I hope to see it again during it's final weekend.


Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:25 pm
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
Cool, thanks for the review! It's fun to discuss different productions.
If you're thinking of seeing the show again, three of us are going to see both the final matinee and evening Saturday performances (May 9th). It'd be nice to meet more fans! You should join us.

It's funny, I had the exact same reaction when I saw the stage. It was hard to imagine 20+ people running around. But they really made it work; it never looked awarkward or crowded.

Regarding Gina, I definitely agree that she has the perfect vocal tone for the role. I just felt like her acting left a lot to be desired. There was a lack of depth and emotion. Also, one of my absolute biggest pet peeves is when the singer over belts the first half of the song. It takes away the emotional impact of the climax. She was belting almost the entire time- except at the end ("look......") which I found really odd. If she had sang like that before the climax, it would have been a lot more impactful. But it's probably not even her fault; at the end of the day, it's the director's decision.

I didn't seem to notice the technical difficulties as much as you did, with the exception of a few microphone malfunctions (which seems to happen at least once every time I see this show). There was one part where it sounded like the music awkwardly cut off, but it was barely noticeable. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the pre-recorded music. I thought it worked just fine. I do think they must've had a smaller budget than La Mirada, because there were a few stage tricks they didn't do (Mistofelee's rope, the sparks during the Macavity scene, etc). The lighting was also rather minimal.

And, yes, Jellylorum's belt at the end of Una Tepida Noche was crazy o_O What did you think of Gus? I thought he sounded a little too young.


Last edited by Cptn. Wazoo on Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:14 pm
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
LOL, "rambunctious" is a great word to describe this cast (in a good way). Their enthusiasm was positively contagious. I'm really curious to see how they are in two weeks, energy-wise.


Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:17 pm
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
Cool, thanks for the review! It's fun to discuss different productions.
If you're thinking of seeing the show again, three of us are going to see both the final matinee and evening Saturday performances (May 9th). It'd be nice to meet more fans! You should join us.

That'd be nice. Not sure if I'm going to make it to any more of the shows though. I'm talking it over with my wife about maybe making the trip up for the final weekend Saturday, though time constraints would mean catching the matinee so that we're not getting home late.

I just read on another thread that VTWC is going to be retiring these costumes after the Norris show. Totally understandable, but a bit sad too. I've seen pictures from other productions, and I must say these capture the vintage look the best. So maybe that'll be some incentive to get out and see the show one last time.

I came late to an appreciation of CATS. I was a child of the 80s and never really got what all the hubbub was through the 90s. Now, it's one of my favorites. And I'm kind of looking forward to seeing it reimagined, hoping the latest London version comes to the US (though I really can't stomach the new arrangement of Rum Tum Tugger I've heard on YouTube).

Anyway, thanks for allowing me to chime in here. I registered for the community just to speak a little about this Palos Verdes show. Probably won't be a regular, but who knows?

(Found this: not really a review; more like an advertisement - http://www.dailybreeze.com/arts-and-entertainment/20150428/review-a-purr-fect-cats-scratches-below-the-surface-at-norris-theatre)


Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:53 am
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
I understand. I feel like this is a last goodbye to both her costumes and the original show itself (although there will be another production next year in Rancho Cucamonga). Kind of bittersweet! Well if you decide to go, let us know!


Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:19 am
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
Just decided today that we are going to try to catch the Saturday matinee on the final weekend. I'll check in after the show closes and we can compare notes again. I'm going to try to just soak in it and enjoy it without trying to critique it.


Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:36 pm
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
Cool! Where are you sitting? We'll be in row C. I'll probably be wearing my Cats shirt. I wore it last Saturday and a lot of the cats stared at me lol


Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:27 pm
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
I plan to be there around noon and maybe have lunch before the matinee. After that show, dinner somewhere else in the mall, and then the evening performance. See you on Saturday.

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Fri May 01, 2015 8:26 am
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Post Re: Palos Verdes CATS cast
I'm not sure what time I plan on getting there. Like I said, there isn't a whole lot to do in the shopping center, but there's a botanic garden on the way up the hill. I'd be interested in checking it out between the two shows. We'll have at least three hours to kill.


Fri May 01, 2015 3:30 pm
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