NODA Review: CATS
Robin Kelly (NODA):
The fact that Cats was a first show with Centre Stage for at least a third of the cast is an indicator of just how attractive it is for anyone with dance training. Any attempt to mount a production with less than the highest quality of dancer/singers is potentially catastrophic. The fact that this show was such a triumph indicates that all the required elements were present.
Centre Stage needed to be able to tick a number of boxes in their production. 1) Societies endeavouring to present Cats have to be absolutely confident of the talent available to present it, requiring as it does a company of outstanding dancers and vocalists. 2) Skilled and imaginative direction is required to reinterpret a concept now very familiar to lovers of musical theatre. 3) Choreography has to be challenging and imaginative but doable without compromising vocal work. 4) Musical Direction has to capture the spirit of original scoring while not overwhelming vocal work. Centre Stage fulfilled all of these requirements and more. While it is true that there were occasional elements which fell short of absolute perfection, this must be balanced against the fact that there are multiple factors which make this show so much harder to perfect than is the case with other musicals.