The holidays are over and winter is settling in — and most of us are already feeling tired and in need of a break. Or some lasagna. Enter: Garfield: The Musical With Cattitude. This is The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s second MainStage show of the season, and exactly what we all need right now.
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Garfield Kicks Off 2021 with
Attitude Cattitude, and is an hour of feline fun that’s perfect (or purrfect?) for the whole family.
Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude opens this weekend for in-person performances at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s (TCT) Redbank Road facility, and begins streaming via Broadway On Demand Jan. 28.
As with The Velveteen Rabbit, TCT has really thought about what’s going on in the world, and adjusted their approach to live theatre accordingly. For starters, in-person seating is limited to 30% (or 44 seats) per performance, and masks are required for all staff, patrons — and actors. As with The Velveteen Rabbit, TCT has created specially designed nose and mouth covering into the costumes, and pre-recorded vocal amplification used to reduce the amount of respiration created by actors in the theater during a performance.
While 2020 forced TCT to scale down their MainStage shows, rest assured that the spirit and exuberance of the troupe prevails. Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude is timely and tongue-and-cheek, and Garfield himself is basically the MOOD right now. In this musical adaptation of the OG Grumpy Cat, directed brilliantly by TCT’s Associate Artistic Director and Company Manager Eric Byrd, Garfield awakens to find his birthday – the most important day of the year – has fallen on a Monday. That’s just the worst, isn’t it?
To make matters worse, everyone – Jon, Odie, Arlene, and even his arch nemesis, Nermal – have completely forgotten it’s his birthday. (Anyone else have to scale back kids’ birthday celebrations during this pandemic? Kids will totally relate to Garfield.) Feeling utterly rejected, Garfield leaves home, only to realize that the outdoors lack all of his creature comforts: no TV, and definitely no lasagna. Garfield, played by Deondra Kamau Means, is absolutely hysterical. Means has a history of playing finicky felines, absolutely slaying in his role as Cowardly Lion in TCT’s 2017 production of The Wizard of Oz. He’s a brilliant actor, and really shines.
In the end, Garfield learns to appreciate (as much as this his grumpy heart can) that home truly is the best place to be — because it’s where you’ll find family, comfort, and love. (Kind of the enduring lesson of 2020…)
A family date to see Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude, would be a fun and festive post-holiday activity. And depending on what you’re comfortable with, that could be in-person at TCT’s beautiful Red Bank Road location, or snuggled up on the family couch for an at-home movie night. Because, as Garfield realizes, “home” isn’t so much a place, as it is a feeling, and the people you’re with.
Live performances of Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude, at TCT’s Ralph and Patricia Corbett’s Showtime Stage on Red Bank Road will take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 11 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm and 5 pm, January 21 through February 14, 2021.
Tickets and digital passes are on sale now at thechildrenstheatre.