Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cats - The Musical

I watched Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats this week.  It was a performance recorded in London several years ago.  I'm glad I saw it, but I didn't really care for it.  I can't say specifically what it was that didn't work for me.  In fact, as far as being a fan of musicals, I'm probably in a small minority.  After all, when it closed a few years ago, Cats was the longest running musical in Broadway history (I believe).  There was something about it people liked. 

For those who don't know, Cats is based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot called "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats".  To the best of my knowledge (I didn't feel like doing a wiki search), the majority of the lyrics are from Eliot's book, with Webber writing the music.  The songs/poems are loosely linked together to form a sort-of story, and that's one problem I had with it.  I like story.  Also, the dancing was a lot of ballet (or at least looked like it), which was impressive, but not my thing.  There were a few catchy songs, most notably "Memory" (made famous by Barbra Streisand), but I didn't find myself singing them like Phantom of the Opera or Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Finally, I didn't care for how the "story" resolved itself.  It reminded me of Logan's Run, a post-apocalyptic book/movie/tv show where no one lives past 30 (if you've seen Cats and Logan's Run, you will know what I'm talking about).

On the other hand, Trisha really liked it.  So there is that.  (Although, she doesn't like cats. Go figure.)

P.S.  Cats is responsible for one of my favorite David Letterman moments.  During Dave's first show on CBS in the Ed Sullivan Theater which I'm pretty sure is on Broadway), Paul Newman stood up and shouted, "Where the hell are the singing cats?"  Classic.

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