Those Silly Cats
During "Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats", the opening number to Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical juggernaut 'Cats', the aforementioned Jellicle Cats move through the audience and across the junkyard before assembling on stage to introduce us to their world. As you might have gathered, these are not actual cats, but performers made up in feline inspired costuming. The musical first premiered in 1981 on the West End before making it's Broadway debut the following year where it ran for a record breaking 18 years on The Great White Way. Full disclosure, I've never been the biggest fan of the show; memories of the local community theatre production haunt me to this day(The "Uncanny Valley" can be very unforgiving). Admittedly, there is a sort of quirky charm to a musical about singing/dancing cats that get together once a year and throw a big ol' party. With the debut of the second trailer for Tom Hooper's upcoming film adaptation, the inherit goofiness of the source material is hard to deny. In fact, the show is already tied into a great theatrical tradition, The Spoof Musical.
Here are a few:
KATDASHIANS, THE MUSICAL!
The 2016 Off-Broadway musical is exactly what it sounds like, a mashup of the two polarizing pop culture entities. The show ran for a summer in the Elektra Theatre, the space located in a complex that was once home to all things seedy and xxx, before Mickey Mouse came in and "cleaned up" the surrounding Times Square area. Mr. Webber himself was so displeased with the comedic take on his show that he even threatened to sue the team behind the send up.
What exactly is a Kimoji?
Can Katye West save Kim with the power of fashion?
Will Kim ever stop crying? God!
What’s the point of Kourtney Katdashian?
F*ck, marry, or kill: Khloe Katdashian?
Will Catlyn Jenner ever accepted by the Katdashians?
Kyle and Kendall? Anyone?
Ok but seriously guys, what happened to Rob Katdashian?
Does anyone have a DVD of Kim’s Sex Tape? Asking for a friend… ?
Silence! The Musical
This raunchy 2005 critical and awards darling debuted downtown at the Lucille Lortel Theatre as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won 'Outstanding Musical'. A 2011 production even landed at the same Elektra Theatre that would one day house our first entry on the list. The musical parodied the classic 1991 film, 'The Silence of the Lambs'. Needless to say, the show was just as dark as the movie that inspired it, only this time a chorus of lambs narrate the proceedings while Buffalo Bill does a literal hoedown downstage center.
This New York Theatre mainstay first appeared Off-Broadway in 1982 and has been mounting productions off and on ever since. The show routinely updates it's material to reflect the Broadway season it sits in. I was lucky enough to see the 2006 edition called Forbidden Broadway: S.V.U. Though aimed more at theatre geeks and people who keep up with the Broadway scene, it hilariously weaves in pop culture references while sending up whatever hot ticket show is running at the time. Past editions include; Forbidden Broadway: 2001 A Spoof Odyssey, Forbidden Broadway Dances With the Stars!, Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab, and currently Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation.
What's A Jellicle Cat?
With some questionable "cat" effects at play on top of a bonkers story, the upcoming 'Cats' already has an uphill battle ahead of them. Hopefully they can succeed and leave the spoof-happy haters(or lovers) waiting in the wings.