I'm watching Cats for the first time and....wow, this is strange.

No, I mean it is stranger than you expect if you haven’t seen it. I picked up the DVD of this show forever ago(like…15 years ago). I never put it in.

However, I love the following musicals:

  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Les Miserables
  • Greatest Showman
  • a few others

So…I heard that Cats is coming out as a feature film in 2019. I figured, I should check this thing out. I mean, I have a great full-cast Broadway DVD and it is time to check it out.

I am 40 minutes in. My thoughts:

  • What is this?
  • Is there no story?
  • This ran for 20 years?
  • Either this is insane or I have gone insane
  • What is this?

This is the strangest show I’ve ever seen. Now, before my wife and I pushed play, I said to her, “Wait a minute. I need to prepare myself to look past the cat costumes and appreciate this for what it is. I can like this!”

My wife has now gone to bed and I’m watching it alone. Yes, I’m going to continue through the end. I have to see how this fiasco works out.

If I was a Broadway critic in 1981 when this opened, my jaw would have been permanently on the floor. Laughing? Shrugging?

This is the strangest thing. Kudos to my DVD for working after collecting dust for 15+ years.

It’s based on a whimsical book of poems by T.S. Eliot, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.”

Have you read “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, by T. S. Eliot. That’s a starting point. Yes it is surreal, but fun. I saw it for the first time last year here in Japan.

Here’s how I sum up cats…

People dressed like cats sing about cats.

That’s it. Dont look for anything else it was so popular because uneducated idiots didn’t have to hurt themselves thinking about plots.

My first moment of Cats:
In the theater on Broadway, I was sitting in the first tier balcony, maybe 2nd or 3rd row.
Somebody had laid their program pamphlet on the wooden railing in front of the seats on the first row of the balcony.

As they dimmed the lights, the usher told that person to remove the paper from the railing.When he was slow to react, the usher said it again, in a serious tone.
A few seconds later, a “Cat” flashed past my shoulder, jumped up onto the railing and down into the main theater below, and ran up to the stage.
I said to myself, “I’m gonna like this show”.

But then, I have cats at home.

Now, I dunno where that actor came from before he appeared on the railing.
But then, I dunno where my cats come from when they suddenly appear on the window sill at home.
They just appear.
That’s the magic of cats.

And I love 'em. :slight_smile:

Even if they’re 5 and half feet tall and wearing silly suits.

I saw it on Broadway during its first run in the late 1980s. Yes, it’s certainly unconventional. It doesn’t have much of a real story because it’s based on a book of poems.

I think it became a hit originally because of the spectacle and the audience involvement - at points the cats danced through the audience so you saw them up close (as chappachula describes.

Here are some of the initial reviews from the first Broadway run. Several critics recognized it would be a hit from the beginning.

You won’t get anything like the full effect from a DVD or a movie.

Did you ever actually see it?

You should have watched “The Amazing Alexander” instead. I loved it. It was much better than “Cats”. I went to go see it again and again.


Indeed. Though not on Broadway. In Cleveland when they came through in the late 80s/early 90’s. I’m in no way trying to say I hate it. Just that it is…uncomplicated.

‘Cats’ is good because well…cats. Yeah, that’s it, cats.
(And a few good songs)

Cats is an excellent children’s musical. I’ve seen it more times than I’d like to admit, all but once with our kids - who loved it. We saw it for the first time in London, twice on Broadway and twice in Philadelphia.
And I don’t even like cats.
There is a tiny smidgen of plot, but if you blink you might miss it.

One time we got tickets at the last minute for some reason, and we wound up in a box on the right side of the stage. We had cats right in front of us several times during the show. The kids loved it.
If you’re looking for deep meaning though, you are in the wrong place.

Saw it in '99 at the New London in Drury Lane. Was lucky enough (well, if knowing someone involved in theatre booking is lucky) to get seats on the revolving part.

Loved it - not everything in life needs to be complicated. Simple can be good.

Saw it twice, plot seems to be: every year, all the cats get together, have a party, and decide which one gets to move on to its next life via tyre-spaceship.

Just a very shaky framework on which to hang a lot of individual character songs.

Sums it up nicely! It’s entertaining! Some catchy tunes and fun dance routines, clever costumes - why would it have to have a deep message or moral?

It was the first show I saw on Broadway, and I eventually saw it three times with different people.

As others said, the DVD just won’t capture the magic of the experience. I never really followed the plot closely–it was about the music and the magic.

The average <insert your preferred musical genre> doesn’t have a plot either. Neither do the paintings at the art gallery.

Plots can be good and all, but they’re not necessary.

CATS in London was originally a very low budget show.The reviews were very mixed, but the audiences loved it. And it has played all over the world.

As others have said, it’s a great show for children.

You can say what you want, but CATS has phenomenally successful.

I love Cats. (Also cats.) I saw it on Broadway, and it’s still a fond, magical memory. I used to have a double CD set of all the songs.

Then again, when I first saw it, I was 8 years old. So my fondness for it is more than a little bit nostalgia. Still, while it may not answer the questions of life, the universe and everything, it’s a fun musical.

I love cats, but unfortunately I didn’t like this show when I saw it. I was bored, I remember being really, really bored and waiting for it to end so I could go home. Of course, that was a long time ago.

When we saw the first touring company at the Fox Theater in St. Louis, I managed to score second row seats way over to stage left. No one was sitting to our right, and there was only a couple in the 1st row.

At one point – probably the battle of the Pekes & Pollicles – the cats came off the stage to sort of romp around. One of them hopped into the empty seat next to my college roommate, and had a paw-batting fight with another cat that was hissing at her from the empty seat in the first row. My roommate was, hilariously, petrified. When they were done, the one wandered off, while the cat in our row smoothed her “fur” and nonchalantly sauntered on down the row to go back on stage.

Watching the DVD does not give a good idea of what the live experience is like. Even if not seated someplace close to the action.