The absurdity of the show was clear from the moment you walked into the lobby and saw a table selling stuffed cats for $50 a pop. This was CATS for Cats, a star-studded benefit concert to support the Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats. The nonprofit dedicated to ending the proliferation of homeless kittens hosted their second annual show this past Saturday, capitalizing on high-profile feline lovers with deep pockets. Fred Willard as T.S. Eliot lead a host of celebrities including Owain Yeoman (The Mentalist), Bethany Joy Lenz (One Tree Hill), and Todd Lowe (True Blood), who each performed a song from the Broadway musical CATS.
Most memorable was Naturi Naughton’s stellar performance of “Memory.” With a straightforward delivery in a simple black dress, Naughton imbued the tearjerker with vibrancy and emotional depth. Her talent and honesty contrasted sharply with the rest of the show. Goofy, under-rehearsed, and plagued by technical difficulties, CATS for Cats was a series of surprisingly amateurish performances from some of L.A.’s professionals. Still, we can’t keep a straight face when the word “cat” is used that many times in two hours.