A friend of mine was telling a story today and he used Cats as a reference. And, on cue, most of the group
snickered. What’s so funny about Cats?
I’m going to spare you an essay on whether or not Cats is a good musical. That’s not my point. My point is that whether you like it or not, Cats is a classic of American Musical Theater.
A classic is something that stands the test of time. Cats ran for 7485 performances. Almost 18 years. If modern musical theater began around the turn of the century (some say it started with The Black Crook, others say Show Boat, so I’m picking a mid point), that means that Cats had a run on Broadway equivalent to almost 20% of the medium’s life.
Imagine a book (other than the bible) staying on the NY Times Bestseller list for 18 years! And just because it closed on Broadway doesn’t mean that its life is over.
On the contrary, 18 years is just the beginning. Like Show Boat, Cats will continue to purr around the world in regional productions and high schools for many more than 9 lives.
So instead of kicking the kitties, let’s figure out what makes people want to see them now . . . and forever.