Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Cats in Manila: pre-gala press peek--the videos

Finally--after God knows how many failed uploads. (Wi-Tribe and YouTube, you both officially suck.)

These video clips were taken during the final presscon before Cats-Manila's gala opening last week. Three musical excerpts were presented--Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats, Rum Tum Tugger and Memory Act 1. The first two numbers were done twice--the first performance to accommodate flash photography, the second for video-taking and photos without flash. Apparently, this is how things are done in shows abroad.

1. Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. This bit is over two-thirds into the full song. The cats assemble on the stage silently, then arrange themselves into a choir formation for that hymnal-sounding interlude in the song (note the church organ intro, a motif that is repeated in Old Deuteronomy's The Ad-dressing of Cats, further down in the finale), before launching into explosive dancing and--the number's most enjoyable moment for me--the feline roll call (Practical cats, dramatical cats, pragmatical cats, fanatical cats...)

2. Rum Tum Tugger. The first time he performed this number, John O'Hara scampered down the stage to prowl the orchestra aisle on my far left. In the repeat, he did the same--but on my side of the aisle, passing right beside where I sat and looming large in my videocam. So that's the clip that made the cut.

3. Memory from Act 1. Before Lea sang her song, director Jo-Anne Robinson (who seemed quite a sweet, kind woman) came out to introduce her and John Ellis as Old Deuteronomy. They were to go around the stage and do a series of poses for the photographers before the musical number. Afterwards, the seemingly endless flashes done, Lea/Grizabella was left alone, and the familiar strains began.


Crystal said...

lucky you for getting to see the this! finally i'll be able to watch it next week. i love your blog! it's great that someone writes about musicals locally :)

Lawrence Villegas said...

Haven't seen it live yet, but this production seems soon down-sized. The dancers' extensions look limited by the stage size, and not as snappy and polished.

Better off watching the video production with great editing.

Just my opinion.

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