Monday, October 22, 2012
Before you start thinking, “Oh, no, don’t tell me she’s going there,” yes, I am going there. But let me explain.
I am not a Cats groupie, by any means. I saw the Broadway production once, when it first debuted, in 1982, only a few years after I graduated from college and was living in a tiny studio apartment on the Upper East Side. I remember bringing my 12-year-old brother, Matt, to a Saturday matinee. We ate lunch first at my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, the Viand, and then took a bus down Fifth Avenue and across town to the Winter Garden Theatre. I suppose I was training for my current Mama Kitty role–though I could not know it, then—because I am much older than Matt and felt protective of him as I led him through the bustling and noisy streets of the big city.
Interestingly, a few of my friends who have read Cat Lady Chronicles have referenced the TV commercials that accompanied the longest-running musical of all time, in which people leaving the theatre gushed about Cats’s “awesome” multisensory production values. One friend wrote, “I laughed, I cried, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed the experience better than Cats.” Are you listening, Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Now, thirty years after the first Broadway performance of Cats, I have grown up to become Cat Lady, and my first cat, Lucius, can only reminisce about his youthful “days in the sun.” I, too, cherish my memories of those early days of discovering why I love cats. I am buoyed by that love, and, thanks to my feline family, I most certainly “understand what happiness is.”
Query of the Day: Is "Memory" your favorite song from Cats?