Three thoughts raced through my mind as I watched the troupe of ferocious feline dancers fly through the air in the production of Cats at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre:
-If humans are capable of moving their bodies this way, I must be a different species.
-I would eat a live mouse to look that amazing in a cat suit.
-Oh my God, they can SING too. This is supremely unfair.
My husband of nearly 13 years and I were on a rare date night, and I found myself hoping he wasn’t secretly wishing I were that incredibly agile and flexible. These Cats were defying gravity in mind-blowing ways. (The audience gasped audibly several times, including when one beautiful kitty did the splits high above our heads, with each ankle suspended by a long ribbon of silk hanging from the ceiling.)
“You should see what goes on back stage before each show,” said my girlfriend Jill, the theatre’s costume designer who gave these Cats their fierce look. She described a scene of legs splayed out over every railing, wall and floor surface as the dancers stretch and stretch and STRETCH, with the scent of Ben Gay hanging heavy in the air. “You’re going to DIE when you see how talented they are!”
I decided to put my insecure thoughts aside as Ian and I sat in the theatre watching these superhuman performers build a fantasy world on stage. (This got a little trickier when one of my gorgeous kitty cat friends in the cast, Alex Van Paris, landed in my smiling husband’s lap during a catwalk through the aisles!)
It was a fun, mesmerizing and desperately-needed escape. After a winter like this, and the stresses that come with cooped-up kids, I will admit our marriage could probably use a few of these Cats’ nine lives.
Holding hands across the table during an evening of food, wine and jaw-dropping talent (with a complete ban on talking about the kids) was a gift.
Just like Grizabella sings in one of my all-time favorite songs, “Memory,” I knew all too well that “when the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too.”
She was right. And it’s a memory that makes me smile.
Bravo, Cats! And thank you.
“Look! A new day has begun….”