A big bunch of cats stole the
hearts of the patrons of the Sutter Street Theatre on Saturday
Aristocats opened there with
a big jazzy whoosh and kept up the pace from start to finish. Besides
those due the cast, kudos go to the face painters. Those cats
— and dogs, etc. were made-up par
marvelous. Another thing that arrested one’s attention was the
costuming. As usual, Eileen Beaver distinguished herself as one of the
premier costumers in the business.
In her opening notes, the director,
Alison Gilbreath, says, “Some of my first memories were being driven to
school and listening to the wonderful sounds of jazz my late father
would play in the car. I didn’t understand what jazz was at the time.
I just knew it evoked a very special, uplifting feeling in me and still
does to this day.”
It will for you, too
Reviewers always say this
— and this one must
— that it isn’t possible to mention
every member of the cast. There are 20 of them. So know, all of you in
the cast, that you are deserving, and the following people are being
mentioned only because that’s how it works.
Jennie Vaccaro (Madame) was the
properly mature and kind-hearted owner of those cats who actually had an
owner. She was totally believable. (See whether you believe her bio).
Hannah Hurst (Duchess, Alley Cat)
gave what it’s tempting to call her “usual stunning performance,” but it
wasn’t “usual.” She managed to be a lissome and somewhat beguiling cat
— as opposed to, for instance, a sweet
Amanda P. Ramos (Thomas O’Malley)
took one’s breath away as a totally cool jazz cat. She sings well,
moves well, understands her character’s….well, character, and seems to
love the audience. Be sure to read her bio. It’s a singular
You may be intimidated by Hayden
Namgostar (Edgar). He has the honor of being the baddest of the bad
guys — and he’s up for it.
Cassie Hamilton (Duchess, Alley Cat)
is a properly demure and beautiful Duchess, and the audience is entirely
supportive of her attempt to be a good parent.
So, imagine 15 plus (as you can see
some cast members play two parts) more provocative roles, done to a “T”
and you will have the flavor of the production. (Catnip?)