The new film adaptation of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats opens nationwide on Friday, December 20. The advertising onslaught, a fever dream of bipedal, anthropomorphic cats has caused RFT theater reviewer Paul Friswold to experience flashbacks, night-terrors, restless leg syndrome and explosive diarrhea, nautically speaking.
Is it the human hands? The prominent human breasts on the lady cats? The way the size differential of the creatures shifts from scene to scene, like some sort of burrito-fueled nightmare? Is it the nonsensical plot? The fact that the song “Memory” is threaded through the show like syphilis crawling through your spine to your brain?
“It’s the music!,” groans the wracked figure that was once a co-worker from his vomit-spattered cubicle (unrelated vomit, it must be stressed).
Here follows, in their entirety, the notes Friswold scratched out concerning his thoughts on Cats whether in musical format, cast album or CGI-fuckfest of a film. Goddamn your soul – IF YOU HAVE ONE – Andrew Lloyd Webber. Damn you to Kansas.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber has never yet met a melody so facile he won't attempt to make monotonous love to it, then give up and diddle it into insensate torpor for eight minutes or until the audience fakes applause; either way, you're finished long before Webber is.
- Every day for more than a dozen years, I have awoken with the dawn to feed cats and then empty their litter box while they dine. I would eat everything I dig out of that box if it ensured I never have to sit through Cats again.
- Metaphysicists posit that at the moment of your death, your entire life flashes before your eyes. I know this is false, because mere seconds into "Growltiger's Last Stand" my brain unleashed a massive and merciful stroke and I couldn't even get a glimpse of the kindergarten years past all the bullshit happening on stage.
- I am violently opposed to cruelty to animals, but if you wanted to tie Cats up in a sack, beat it against the wall and throw it in the river, I'd provide the sack — and build a wall by the river.
- And so the novice might wonder, "If Cats is so terrible, how did it dominate Broadway for so much of the '80s?" The answer is simple, dear reader: Cocaine, and lots of it. So if you're planning to see it this week, hit the rails hard. And then kill me for my car radio.
- Cats is not the definitive proof of there being no God, but it is a compelling closing argument.
- The devil's greatest triumph is in convincing Man that Andrew Lloyd Webber's talent exists.
- A million monkeys typing for a million years would never come up with anything near as asinine as Cats. In fact, a million monkeys flinging their poo at a million walls would undoubtedly make for a more entertaining evening.
- It is my fervent desire to someday meet Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber face to face, then set his face on fire so that I can be certain his corpse is still warm when I hate-fuck his mouth.
10. Midnight, not a sound from the pavement.
Just the sounds of the screaming,
as my brain melts away.
During the seventh reprise of “Memory,”
These fucking Cats –
Won’t go away.