One of the first things I ever got to write for Jezebel was this essay about how wonderfully gay and horny and unhinged the original staged production of Cats was. This includes the 1998 filmed production, which is just basically the staged show with some questionable special effects. Everyone who felt that the 2019 movie was too erotic to be a film about singing, dancing cats, was clearly way too unfamiliar with the source material to know what the hell they were talking about. Which, honestly, good for them.
The original 1998 Cats film was split onto two VHS tapes because that’s how long it was, and it came complete with the almost impossibly long overture and a built-in intermission. On two separate occasions in college, I made different groups of friends watch it with me, both times while high. Both times it was wonderful, and both times we all agreed we probably never needed to do it again. For those whose brains are not quite as hardwired to enjoy an Andrew Lloyd Webber ballad as mine, Cats is frequently, and need only be, a one time experience.
For the unlucky many who have yet to experience the absolutely glorious theatrical hellscape that is Cats even once, tonight is your lucky night. As part of The Shows Must Go On, Cats is streaming, for free, on Youtube for another 24-hours outside of the UK. In addition to bringing us exactly the kind of manic, sexual, feline energy we all need right now, Cats is also raising money for The Actors Fund: COVID-19 Emergency Relief. Go to the Jellicle Ball and also give money to a good cause. It’s a win-win.
Out of consideration for everyone’s time, they’ve even timestamped the individual show numbers in the video’s description, should you not want to dedicate just over two hours of your life to Cats, although I highly recommend partaking in your indulgence of choice and settling in for the evening. As an amuse-bouche for the full production, here is The Rum Tum Tugger, who was absolutely part of my sexual awakening, in all his camp, erotic glory, doing what he does best.
What say you Jezzicle cats, are you tuning in?