The Paramount Theatre has kicked off its 2014-15 Broadway series in strong fashion with the beloved musical “Cats.”
Although the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical was first staged in 1981, the Paramount has injected new energy into the musical, based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot. For those not familiar with the musical, “Cats” tells the story, in song and dance, of the annual gathering of Jellicle cats at which time one special cat is selected to ascend to the Heaviside layer.
The show is perfectly cast. Sawyer Smith, last seen as Angel in the Paramount’s version of “Rent,” has the charisma needed to handle the role of the bigger-than-life Rum Tum Tugger, even going out into the audience to kiss an unsuspecting woman.
One of the stars of the show is someone who is not a stranger to the Paramount stage. Lauren Villegas, who has appeared in such Paramount productions as “In the Heights,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Music Man” and “Annie,” delivers a knockout performance as Grizabella. Along with bringing just the right amount of empathy to the role, her version of the “Cats” signature song “Memory” will make you forget all others.
The musical’s striking scenery and outstanding choreography also play starring roles in this version of “Cats.” The musical is rated “G,” so parents can feel comfortable bringing their kids to this family-friendly show.
‘’Cats’ will run through Sunday, Oct. 12. The Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.
Tickets are available by calling the Paramount at 630-896-6666 or visiting its website, www.paramountaurora.com.