I went to go see Cats on Broadway last week. And here’s a thing that I’d forgotten, how much I love Cats.
I’ve said a few times that I’m trying really hard to remove ironic detachment from my cultural experience. There’s too much content that I do enjoy to spend time on stuff that I don’t like but want to mock. But I went to Cats deeply unsure if I was going to be able to enjoy it genuinely or not.
It’s an easy show to mock, because it’s weird enough that you can’t quite call it mainstream, but schlocky and successful enough that it’s certainly not considered “arty.” But it’s most certainly experimental, and strange and oddly beautiful.
Cats is a show that I think means more to theater performers my age than just fans. We saw this show when we were little and we sang these songs and approximated these dances and there’s something beautiful about that.
So I didn’t ironically enjoy Cats, didn’t laugh at it’s corny approach, didn’t mock the actors. I loved every moment of it, genuinely and deep in my bones. I walked around for days after singing “Skimblehshanks The Railway Cat” and practically skipping.
It was all great.