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Broadway comes to the Queen City 

Cats claws into dog-lover's heart

I am a bone-a-fide dog person (pun intended). My niece, Daisy May, is the pug of my life and I'm currently on a mission to rescue a pug. My sophomore year at Virginia Tech I rescued, distributed and kept two of 20-some pit-bull mutt puppies confiscated from a dog fighting operation. Wait a minute ... I was at Tech while Michael Vick was there, hmmmm.

But I hate cats! They freak me out and rather than creeping and crawling around a house I think they should be in the wild like their bobcat and tiger cousins.

However, I love going to the theater. So I discarded my fear of the nocturnal, clawing and hissing creatures to go see the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's production of Cats at Ovens Auditorium.

There I saw tap-dancing cockroaches, the "Curious Cat" that kinda looked like Ted Danson dancing with an audience member, costumes so tight you could see butt muscles in action and cats dressed as pirates.

I didn't quite get the plot, but it was the best dancing I'd ever seen in the history of seeing dancing. Although one set looked more like an aerobic abs class than a choreographed lyrical performance. Perhaps they did a line of catnip at intermission.

At times, I felt like I was watching Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, and at others it was like a production of Grease meets Planets of the Apes.

Theater performers such as those in Cats are artistic athletes and damn good actors as well. Some of the characters freaked me out the way real cats do. And I'd like to give a shout-out to the set dressers and backstage hands who made it feel like going to Broadway in Charlotte.

Cats is a fitting play for Charlotte, seeing as how it consists of singing and dancing about the array of cats within the species. Can you imagine a rendition of Cats for Charlotte? You have the Bobcats, CATS the transit authority, TopCats, Lady Cats and Panthers. It would be a musical about pro sports and a lightrail, and it just might even make as much sense as the plot of the original Cats.

I personally got a little confused following music as dialogue. The program was mostly private school advertisements, so I had to go home and run a Google search to figure out why the old cat everyone was mean to throughout the play got lifted up in a space ship made out of a tire. Was the moral of the story that it's okay to be shunned from society as long as you sing better than everyone? All I know is, I want to go to the Jellicle Ball!

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