Jellicles Come To The Jellicle Ball

This isn’t going to be a long post, but something happened during this current quarantine we find ourselves in. I watched the Cats movie.

It was terrible! I mean, you’ve seen the clips, right?

Disturbing on a million levels. No one needs to see a handsome gentleman such as Idris Elba, naked apart from creepy CGI brown fur! I mean, if that’s your thing, more power to you, but it poisoned my retinas. The entire film did. Some musicals can be cinematic and it’s fine to adapt them with movie stars and on-location performances. A stage production about kitties, starring human beings, dressed up as kitties? NO.

Which brings me to the Andrew Lloyd Webber thing.

I saw a production of this when I was a kid. I don’t remember much about it, apart from cast members prancing down the aisles of the theater, doing their cat stuff before the first song. I thought that was cool. It’s such an 80’s thing, right? The legwarmers and Jane Fonda workout leotards that basically make up the feline costumes (just add furry material!). The coked-up crazy dance numbers! I’m sure I enjoyed the experience. I’d enjoy it now if I saw it as an adult, but I’d also think it was pretty dated and…. odd. Apart from Memory, most of the songs are just descriptions of these damn Jellicle Cats!

Jellicle Cats. Jellicle Cats. I think the whole reason for my fascination for this horrid film and bizarre musical stage production revolving around my favorite kind of pet is the source material! T.S. Eliot’s collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The whimsical wordplay, zippy narration of all those kooky kitties, and the names themselves. They’re fun to say! Rumpleteazer, Skimbleshanks, and Growltiger, oh my!

I was today years old when I found out Edward Gorey illustrated a version of this anthology and I’m OBSESSED:

This concludes my random musings about the enchanting and unsettling world of Jellicle Cats. If you need me I’ll be stuck in the house, looking at Youtube tutorials on making top hats and tuxedos for felines.