REVIEW ROUNDUP: "Cats" Opened with a ShowScore of 78

Show-Score | Aug 1, 2016
"Cats," written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by Trevor Nunn, opened on July 31, 2016 in New York City. "Cats," written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by Trevor Nunn, opened on July 31, 2016 in New York City.


18 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 64.

Charles Isherwood
The New York Times
ShowScore: 75
"The overriding spirit of the revival appears to be the familiar motto: Don’t mess with success...The most significant nod to the intervening decades and changing tastes is the hiring of Andy Blankenbuehler...The felines prance and romp and occasionally hiss at one another as they introduce themselves in songs that provide the show’s greatest allure, as well as its variety. Mr. Lloyd Webber is a musical magpie...The cast for the revival is largely excellent."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 60
"Nunn seems to have revisited the material with the attitude, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Despite new choreography and cutting-edge lighting, it still carries a retro vibe...Plot is ancillary to a beautiful fantasy conveyed through music and dance...Still, if you look around and see the remarkable creativity and innovation happening on Broadway these days, it is hard to view this production as anything more than a museum piece."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 30
“This was a lost opportunity. Rather than lamely re-creating the original, why not orchestrate the score for acoustic instruments, redo the costumes and dances, and find fresh drama underneath the tacky, dated pageantry? Instead we get a taxidermied pet. If there is heart to the piece, it’s Grizabella, the faded, outcast 'glamour cat.' British crooner Leona Lewis has a big, yearning voice, but even her (heavily amplified) yowling of 'Memory' can’t make the past worth revisiting.”

"Cats" was also reviewed by Ron Cohen of Musical Theater Review, Matthew Wexler of Broadway Blog, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Mark Kennedy of The Associated Press, Linda Winer of Newsday, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, David Finkle of The Huffington Post, Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, Marilyn Stasio of Variety, Emma Brockes of The Guardian (UK), Jason Clark of The Wrap, and Robert Kahn of WNBC.


The show was also reviewed by 45 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 84.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Entertaining, Great singing, Enchanting, Great staging, Delightful

Dan Q, ShowScore: 83
See it if…You've never seen it before. It's a classic. The sets, lighting, costumes, and choreography are terrific and certainly elevate the show.
Don't see it if…You care much for story. It's a series of vignettes with a loose through line. I was bored at times.
Christopher C 2, ShowScore: 50
See it if…You just want to turn your mind off and watch pretty things skirt past your eyes. 
Don't see it if…You're looking for deep, substantial musical theater. 'Fun Home' this ain't.
Angela Mansberry, ShowScore: 92
See it if…You've never seen it on stage before and you love seeing inventive choreography and brilliant stagecraft.
Don't see it if…You have seen it before and you know you don't like it. Not sure if it's for you? Try it and see! Chances are, you'll love it.

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