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I've Always Been a "Cats" Person ...

February 19, 2010 - Phyllis Sigal
Why is it that people make fun of the Broadway musical, "Cats"? Because it's been popular forever? Because it was a groundbreaking production in its day? Because the characters are Cats? Because it's based on a book of whimsical poetry?

Certainly none of those are reasons to make fun of something! I can't figure it out.

I love the show.

I love the music; I love the characters; I LOVE Rum Tum Tugger, who I interviewed on the phone a couple of weeks ago; I love how the melodies keep playing in my head; I love Old Deuteronomy and Asparagus, and of course, Grizabella.

I love how some of the Cats remind me of my own fat cat, Diamond, who sleeps in various spots around the house all day long ... under the desk, on his (used to be Amanda's) bed, at the top of the stairs, on the recliner in the basement, at the bottom of the stairs ...

I first saw "Cats" in London in 1984. (Which is the year Adam Steiner, who played Rum Tum Tugger, was born, he told me!) It was still fairly fresh at the time, having opened just about three years prior. It was still hard to get tickets. In fact, we bought tickets six weeks in advance, and still had to settle for singles. I think one of us sat in the balcony and one on the floor.

We — my husband and I — got to sit together at Wednesday's production here in Wheeling. The show was wonderful. Great voices. The set and its special effects are still fun and exciting after all these years. And there was a great crowd to enjoy it all.

I'm looking forward to the next Broadway at the Capitol ... "Jesus Chris Superstar" starring Ted Neely, who I'll be speaking with prior to the March 8 production.

Let's hope that the popular series continues next year. I'll be waiting with bated breath as to which shows may be coming then.

And if anyone out there can shed any light on why "Cats" is the butt of jokes, please tell me!


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My cat, Diamond.