Say what you will about Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer of Broadway smashes involving hippie recreations of Jesus and half-masked pervs who lurk underneath stages, but the man can really name a cat. He gave his felines quirky names like "McCavity" and "Griddlebone," which blow old favorites such as "Muffy" and "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU PEED ON THE TOASTER AGAIN" clean out of the water. Perhaps Webber's talent for naming his furry companions is the key to the eminent appeal of his musical, Cats.
At the least, those off-kilter names inform Webber's unique vision of the housecat. Good thing, too, or we'd be watching men dressed in skintight jumpsuits licking their butts for two hours. Instead, Cats continues to suck in audiences in its bazillionth run, thanks to elaborate costumes and songs that never stop bouncing merrily about the brain. After the last ovation, you may check your watch and wonder why you just spent a couple of hours watching actors slink around the stage in furry suits. But you'll probably want to do it again, anyway.
Catch cat scratch fever Thursday through Sunday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. Tickets start at $25. For more information, call 305-949-6722, or visit arshtcenter.org.
Jan. 1-4, 2009