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Rancho Cucamonga CATS
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Author:  Cptn. Wazoo [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rancho Cucamonga CATS

Yeah, we really are lucky here in SoCal to have such high quality productions. Seeing a high quality production directed by people who understand the show, in an intimate theater, with a cast who's giving 120% and isn't worn out from touring for months is a real treat. That's why I'm sad about this potentially being the last regional production. While there will no doubt be a national tour some time in the next couple of years, it won't be the same experience viewing it in the 1,500 seat Segerstrom or Pantages. Not to mention we'll be paying 4x what we paid for this show. Sigh.

To answer your question, yes, the La Mirada and Musical Theater West productions were equally as good. They were both directed by Dana Solimando, who played Rumpleteazer on Broadway. Dana's productions are always super close to the original Broadway production, in terms of staging. Janet I think takes a little more creative liberties with her staging. In terms of the dancing, if I were to compare the two, I'd call Dana's choreography "elegant" and Janet's "athletic". The SD and PV casts were very swift, like watching an aerobics class, whereas MTW and La Mirada were more graceful and technical, like watching a ballet. Does that kinda make sense? I know nothing about dance lol

Regarding the orchestra, I did notice on the Sunday performance that there were a few out of tune instruments and squeaky horns. But it wasn't enough to detract from anything. I don't have a musically trained ear, so it didn't bother me. But I can understand why you'd be bothered by that, as a musician.

As for Grizabella, I'll try not to go off on too much of a tangent. Basically, I'm really picky with how she's portrayed. I feel that the character can be so much more complex than just "I'm sad that I'm being rejected". When I watch Betty Buckley's Grizabella, I see so much more. I see a proud and stubborn, yet physically tired old cat who refuses to bow to her fate. She understands that she's old, but she still thinks she's glamorous. When I watch Laurie Beechman's Grizabella, I see someone who's been emotionally hurt, but is still trying to remain optimistic. She constantly switches from sad faces to smiles. Those interpretations to me are so much more fascinating to watch, than just a sad character wandering around the stage.
But getting back to what I was saying about Debbie, if you're going to go the "sad" route, which I'm not against, it should come from a real, believable place. Otherwise, if the actress tries too hard, it comes off as corny and cartoonish. I felt Debbie's Griz was cartoonish. While I'm not a huge fan of Elaine Paige, her peformance in the video at least felt like real emotion. I feel the same way with Nicole Scherzwinger. It's a difficult thing to pull off, and I realize my standards are high.
TL;DR: Either give me an interesting interpretation of the character, or really SELL me on the tragic, sad figure. A few whimpers and cries isn't going to convince me.

I agree with you regarding MJ & R, as well as Macavity. Both were very fun to watch.

Author:  VTWC [ Sun May 01, 2016 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rancho Cucamonga CATS

I just uploaded some pics and vids from the show. Here are a few pics. Sorry that it took so long, been insanely busy. But better late then never!

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FCLO Set

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Old D at Intermission on set

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Coricopat and Tantomile interact with a little girl, vid below as well

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Vid of Corico and Tanto
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rccgEL73wUo

Musicians pit

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Corico and Tanto onstage at Intermssion

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Heaviside Layer

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Finale shots

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Stage set after the show

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Vid of the finale

https://youtu.be/Ylf7bJ7SQ0w

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