Cats: The Gala Premiere in Singapore

A friend invited me for Cats, the Musical, and to be honest, I wasn’t too keen on it because I used to fall asleep by the third or fourth song whenever I watched the VCD (oh my, how archaic and quaint) as a kid.

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Sometime during the first act, Gerard leaned towards me and whispered, ‘ok. I know why you fell asleep now.’ During the intermission, I overheard a group of women expressing their inability to stay awake and generally wondering just what the heck they were watching. (The producers really took the ‘save the best for the last’ concept quite seriously, with the top hits and more exciting characters and storylines turning up in Act 2, which was so much less sleep-inducing than Act 1. Or perhaps I’m just a cultural barbarian at heart.)

I still remember being shell-shocked, years ago, upon hearing that Cats was inspired by and heavily based upon T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (I wonder what a musical version of ‘The Wasteland’ might look or sound like). I mean, no wonder people are bored…Cats is nowhere as inaccessible as The Wasteland, but perhaps people are used to actually having a storyline, instead of this Decameron-esque singing of stories.

One wonders how this became one of the longest running musicals when it leaves the audience feeling dumbfounded. I place my bets on the soundtrack – it’s been nearly two weeks but I still have Mr Mistoffelees stuck in my head. Gerard begs to differ though, saying that the soundtrack is unmemorable for the most part. What is your take on this?

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On a separate and frivolous note: it was the gala premiere that Gerard took me to, my very first one! He told me to dress up, not knowing that I don’t really have clothes for such occasions. But it was a workday evening after all, and many were in fairly glamorous workwear (or perhaps I just never bothered to dress professionally for work..) The people-watching was pretty fun, I’d say.

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