Happy Big Cat Week on National Geographic. Yeah, yeah, I know..crazy cat lady watching cats on tv while sitting at home with my cat. Welcome to spinsterhood.
Can you blame me? Watch this little clip about the orphaned shadow leopards and tell me your heart doesn’t melt a little bit…at least as much it would for the orphaned baby sharks on Shark Week. (awwww…….chomp)
I feel no shame in being a bona-fide cat lover. In fact, I have a board on pinterest entirely dedicated to cat-related stuff…ok that does sound embarrassing. (I’ve added a link if you’d like the see the extent of my nerdiness) Also embarrassing is my love for the notoriously loser-ish musical ‘Cats’.
I first saw a production of ‘Cats’ when I was eight at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. Cats is based on the T.S. Elliot book ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’– which is a collection of poems describing a ‘tribe’ of cats called the Jellicles. The music and lyrics were written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the original (very 80’s) choreography was by Gillian Lynne. The whole premise of the show is this:
Bunch of cats gather. In an all-singing, all-dancing music spectacular they describe why they should be the cat chosen to go the ‘heavyside layer’ and begin a new life in some sort of voodooish reincarnation feline cycle. Meow.
(I would also like to add the I have performed with the actor Ken Page, who plays Old Deuteronomy in the movie version of ‘Cats’, at the Muny Opera in St. Louis in either 1998 or 1999. I never spoke to him though- he was pretty intimidating.)
After seeing the show at age 8, I had a lifelong dream of performing the part of Victoria, the White Cat. (Why anyone in their right mind would want to wear a big furry head and then a white unitard is beyond me at this point) I probably just liked her best because she has a nice long balletic dance solo. She’s usually freakishly flexible, a quality that I must admit, I am a total sucker for in dancers.
And lucky me, that dream sort-of came true my senior year of college in my Musical Theatre Dance Class. (We didn’t have time to change costumes, so luckily I avoided the all-white body suit)
I know that watching a bunch of grown-up dress up like house pets is maybe not the coolest way to spend an evening, but I can’t help but love it.
Maybe I should choreograph a NEW version entitled, ‘BIG CATS’ and use wild animals like the shadow leopard, a tiger, a cougar, etc. as the cast of characters.
I will play the Black Panther character- give her some amazing slinky adagio choreography, and an all black outfit (it’s slimming after all).