Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s CATS Review Blackpool Starring Jane McDonald….
It’s not very often the casting of a musical makes national headlines, but it did when Wakefield’s Jane Mcdonald was confirmed as The Lord’s newest Grizabella in CATS at The Blackpool Opera House this summer.
What viewers to Loose Women may not realise, is that Ms. Mcdonald is a world class vocalist and the epitome of a leading lady and musical Star.
CATS has wowed audiences for over 30 years. What’s surprising is that here in Blackpool, many of the audience had absolutely no idea what to expect.
This is not a musical in a traditional sense, its fundamentally a dance show with music. At times this fast moving story is almost hard to understand.
This is a hugely elaborate play with exceptional dance and some epic music!
Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Exclusive review via YouTube…
The hugely energetic, talented and enthusiastic cast tell the story of a community of cats from the coolest to the most senior of paws.
The Live orchestra are hugely impressive, offering almost every genre of music from showstopper, Jazz, classical to rap!
Most famous of all, CATS is defined by its biggest hit – ‘Memory’. It not only steals the show, but embodies the pathos & passion of this musical.
With lyrics based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot – Andrew’s score is raucous and diverse.
Visually this is a masterpiece in places, especially in the final 20 minutes of the show.
You cannot fail to be impressed by the imagination of this (non moving) set added to the remarkable harmonies & brilliant lighting.
We all know Webber writes the most gorgeous tunes in the world, but equally he seems loves to provoke / annoy / challenge his punters with almost unlistenable, piercing, musically incongruous, loud and angry shrieks of sound – there are many examples of this throughout CATS.
Thankfully though, sanity is restored at the end of both acts with arguably his greatest creation ever – ‘Memory’.
This is a powerhouse anthem that requires a true vocal Star to carry it off with precision.
Thankfully they hired a Blackpool legend, TV Star & hugely popular personality throughout the Uk.
I truly feel this 6 minute masterpiece is a career defining moment for Ms. McDonald.
The role of Grizabella is not ‘the Star of the show’, in fact she is on stage less than 20 minutes, however, in this cast Griz without question steals the show.
Jane owns this role and truly raises the roof with this epic 11 O’clock number. McDonald makes this piece credible, real and hugely moving.
Without question this is a 5* standing ovation inducing performance which may well redefine Jane from a TV host to a Musical Star – proving true vocal prowess and conviction.
For us she is up there with Dusty as one of the greatest voices in British history.
‘Memory’ is ludicrously challenging and proves McDonald’s phenomenal 5* ability and skill. She made it look effortless. Not a dry eye in the house.
The closing 15 minutes of this musical is one of the most brilliant and beautiful pieces of theatre, staging and performance I’ve ever seen.
CATS is a fun night out in Blackpool and offers a West End standard cast in the Vegas of the North.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 22nd July 2015.