You might think our theater editor and critic David Cote was being surly, dyspeptic—dare we say grumpy—when he filed his two-star review of the Broadway revival of Cats. He did not care a bit for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster, feline-themed musical, based on verse for children by T.S. Eliot. Cote wrote:
Cats is an attenuated high-concept revue that grows tedious by its second act. A bunch of cats slink out one night, introduce themselves and, by the end, two of them go to kitty heaven. Now and then you may catch a word not normally heard on Broadway: “ineffable” or “perpendicular.”
This was a lost opportunity. Rather than lamely re-creating the original…why not orchestrate the score for acoustic instruments, redo the costumes and dances, and find fresh drama underneath the tacky, dated pageantry? Instead we get a taxidermied pet.
Now the producers have added an actual pet with an even crustier disposition: Grumpy Cat, the pussy with the sourpuss. (For those who don’t know, four-year-old Grumpy’s real name is Tardar Sauce, and she has a condition known as feline dwarfism that causes the scowl.) Grumpy will join the cast of Cats tomorrow for one night only.
Will Grumpy play a Jellicle? A Peke or a Pollicle? What the heck do those names mean, anyway?!? A spokesperson close the production informed us that the furry, frowning megameme will be “incorporated into the ending of the show.” One thing's for sure: Grumpy could totally kick Skimbleshanks's ass.
“Being selected as the first real cat to perform in Cats on Broadway is an honor. I hate it,” meowed Grumpy about her Broadway debut. “If I’m really being honest, I’d prefer to play the Phantom.” She then asked if there were any theater-critic positions open at Time Out New York.