CATS as Mythic Tale

So what's so great about CATS anyway? Sure it has TS Eliot's very clever characters and Andrew Lloyd Webber's intoxicating music and John Napier's splendiforous costumes & sets and Gillian Lynne's brilliant choreography. But I think there's another reason that CATS has become a classic, a worldwide phenom, a theatrical institution, the now-and-forever musical. Not to get too heavy here, but CATS is also a modern mythic tale, right out of our universal unconscious, like James Joyce's Ulysses and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha. As the Rum Tum Tugger said of the magical Mr. M's conjuring talents... don't scoff ! Star Wars has its mythic elements, as does Star Trek and Neil Gaiman's Sandman tales. And CATS.



Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats

This show has everything needed to stir the imagination and satisfy the soul. It's Victoria's coming-of-age story. It's good vs evil as the magician of the Light (Mistoffelees) rescues the father figure/tribal chief (Old Deuteronomy) from the mysterous forces of Darkness (Macavity). It's Grizabella's search for redemption and transformation. It's a once-a-year ritual in which the ordinary world is transcended and a new life... perhaps even immortality... is possible.
A story doesn't get more mythic than this. Even though it's going to be closing on Broadway in June and there are rumors flying of it closing in London and other major cities as well, I've also heard that a new US tour is beginning this fall. It's hard to imagine a world without Cats playing somewhere! It will surely live on forever in the hearts and minds of all who've experienced it.

I can go on about this stuff forever, so this is a work in progress :-)

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Some photos on this site scanned from CATS: The Book of the Musical
Cats the musical & cast photos copyright The Really Useful Group Ltd.
Musical score by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Lyrics based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, additional words by Trevor Nunn & Richard Stilgoe
Rhapsody on a Windy Night written by T.S. Eliot
Meditative Cat graphics & all text descriptions copyright 2000-2006 Catresea Ann Canivan