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I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The worst Broadway musical ever

I had always heard "Cats" was awful, and never had reason to doubt it, but finally seeing the show in its entirety last night at the Fox Cities PAC made me a believer.

I feel like I have been ranting about "Cats" constantly ever since, and frankly, neither one of us wants me to go off about it again. (Seriously, though, if I hear the phrase "jellicle cats" one more time, I'm going to get crazy, Iran-style.) Here's a link to my review and here's an excerpt.

The 25th anniversary tour plays at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center through Sunday. Watching the opening night performance Tuesday, I was amazed "Cats" lasted 25 minutes.

"Cats" could be the lamest of all the major Broadway blockbusters. It certainly is the silliest creation ever to come from Andrew Lloyd Webber, which is saying a lot when you consider dreck like "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" haunts his back pages.

If "Cats" hadn't been such a huge hit, I imagine Webber would have let it fade into history like leg warmers, Michael Bolton and every other regrettable product of the 1980s. Instead, it remains the Maestro of Middlebrow's most lasting legacy after being seen in 26 countries and more than 300 cities over the past quarter-century.

Pardon me for not getting it.

No matter how hokey "Cats" is, only a hardcore dog person would deny the cast its proper kudos.

You have to admire a group of actors for performing so admirably with such rank material.

It's one thing to be great doing Arthur Miller or Eugene O'Neill. But to commit yourself to donning the same ugly cat suit and singing "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" night after night with conviction is another, much more impressive thing that is certainly deserving of some sort of acting award.

If "Cats" ends up winning you over, it will be because of the actors. I admired them for their energetic elasticity and pitied them for having to go through this indignity to pay the rent.


Blogger Jen said...

That is so funny. My boss came over this morning and said "Jen, you'd be proud of me." I asked why. He told me that he went to the Cats musical last night. I'm not sure why I was supposed to be proud. Maybe just for his expanding his horizons or something? Anyway, he said he enjoyed it except for the last part.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Gavstoficles said...

I just want to say "Cats" is the second best musical I've ever seen. (The first was "South Pacific".)

However, I have no desire to defend myself against the great Steve...

12:44 PM  
Blogger mark said...

i like most all musicals i've seen or heard. we went through this when steve disliked RENT too.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laughed, I cried... It was better than CATS!

1:29 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

You know, I recently saw "Joseph" at the PAC (with Amy Adams of American Idol fame, Steve!) and I have decided that I don't like that ALW creation either. It has a couple of catchy tunes and a good scene with all of the brothers, but other than that, it is all flash and no substance.

Oh, Andrew, why oh why oh why oh why??

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Gavel-Teaser said...

I like "Joseph", too, despite the fact it pushes a pro-Israel stance (which I oppose).

But I think that's way off-topic to even mention here.

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Nick P. said...

Andrew Lloyd Weber is the poor man's Stephen Sondheim.

9:38 AM  

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