commenter-thread

One last theater-related thought. In "A Chorus Line", there is a dark humor song called "Dance 10, Looks 3".

One of the things that Cats did was put everybody in makeup so very heavy that in a theoretical world where casting directors who still used this outdated method, you only had to look at "Dance 10". (I understand that, today, they use the old Marvel Superhero stats on the casting card. Feeble, Poor, Typical, Good, Excellent, Remarkable, Incredible, Amazing, Monstrous, Unearthly and Class 1000. So now it's "Dance Unearthly, Looks Typical". Far kinder.)

Given that there's this undercurrent of love that seeps out into normieland from the love of a particular play from the actors, singers, and dancers, having a play where the best dancers and best singers get cast no matter what they look like?

Man, no wonder Cats took off.

I will wait and see.

But the movie will have a lot of stuff done in post. I have no doubt that Ms. Hudson's line will involve multiple breaths.

If my assumption is bad, I hope someone points it out to me come the movie's release.

Saul should probably write about the theater more.

Without him, though, I'll just say that I could probably sing Jesus Christ Superstar right now from memory.
Evita had a handful of pretty good songs (along with another barn-burner of a closer).
The Phantom of the Opera was good from start to finish.

And I'm pretty sure that right around there is where Andrew Lloyd Weber switched from being a Broadway guy to being a Middlebrow Kitsch guy. "Sure, it sells out every night... TO PEOPLE WHO FLY IN FROM KANSAS! Last week I saw a revival of Feiffer's Knock Knock at the Helen Hayes and it was absolutely brilliant. I'm not surprised if you've never heard of it. It was nominated in a Tony in 1975 and it was *ROBBED*."

What were we talking about? Oh, yes. Cats.

Fillyjonk below gets into how theater doesn't always translate to the big screen. Cats was *HUGE* because of the costumes. Here, they got rid of the thing that made people want to see the play and made the play go on FOREVER. (I remember reading an article in the mid-80's about how you, yes you!, could go and get done up like a Cat from Cats for your Halloween party for the low-low price of $1,500 in mid-80's dollars! (That's $3500 in 2018 dollars!)

Reformed Republican mentions this above: the costumes just grab you. The songs are little sugar cubes, forgotten the moment they melt. But the COSTUMES! That's something that the theater did that you can't get anywhere else. No matter how much CGI you use.

Here's one thing that the movie will not do:

Mamie Parris sang that line with *ONE FREAKING BREATH*. Watch it again. That ain't possible. But she did it.

Seriously. That's one freaking breath.

The movie won't pull that off. They'll have three cuts of the camera during that line in the song. If not four.

I have seen Cats twice (maybe three times? They all blur together!) and it's a delightful trifle of a play that will have you remember very little about it except for the amazing costumes, the actress playing Cassandra, and the barn-burner of a crescendo of a closing song.

But, seriously, those costumes themselves were worth the price of admission. When people talked about the play, they would not stop talking about the costumes.

And if you've never seen the play, when you see the movie, you'll see why they didn't really talk about any of the songs except for "Memories".

I'm not sure that having the characters be vaguely furry-adjacent will work to the musical's benefit. By taking away the costumes, you're taking away one of the main things that everybody talked about after leaving the play.

Maybe Memories will carry it.