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The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo

The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo

mpw2
#1The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 3:27pm

Wondering how PAC NYC is going to pull off a queer ballroom version of CatsHere is the first look, with exclusive interviews with the co-directors, choreographers, and cast. 
The first look inside

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morosco
#2The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 4:17pm

Thankfully attendance is not mandatory. 

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QueenAlice
#3The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 4:23pm

This will either be brilliant or a complete disaster.


“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”

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rosscoe(au)
#4The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 6:05pm

I’m just sorry I won’t be able to see this. Only two things can happen, brilliance , disaster. 


Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian

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metropolis10111
#5The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 7:34pm

I agree it's going to be either or I so so so want to see this. 

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CoffeeBreak
#6The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 10:25pm

photo awkward and blurry.

RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
#7The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 11:39pm

But does the script lend itself to voguing and queerness or is this just Cats with disco balls? Are they still pirates? 

TheatreFan4 Profile Photo
TheatreFan4
#8The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 11:45pm

morosco said: "Thankfully attendance is not mandatory."

What a tacky thing to say when you could just say nothing? 

People have forever pushed for Cats to be taken in a not literal way and this has amazing potential with some immense talent behind it.

I feel like the intersection between Cats and Ballroom is a breeding ground of inspiration. It gives them all stakes for wanting to win/be chosen instead of JUST Grizabella. In the original show there's no negative aspects brought forth for any character BUT Grizabella and Gus. The setting alone brings a much more impactful context for the characters. I'm eager to see it and I've had my tickets since they went on sale in the fall. 

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TheatreFan4
#9The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/14/24 at 11:48pm

RippedMan said: "But does the script lend itself to voguing and queerness or is this just Cats with disco balls? Are they still pirates?"

The script is a blank slate, what do you mean? It's been said for a long time that Cats has a good story, but doesn't have much in way of a plot. That itself allows itself to be open to many interpretations. That it's taken this long for any different take on the material to happen is kind of a mystery to me. It's a show rife for reinvention. 

chrishuyen
#10The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/15/24 at 12:29am

"Cats opens at PAC NYC after a Broadway season that retreated from queer visibility. Lempicka, the only original new musical of the season with a prominent LGBTQ+ character, closed after 41 performances (as of May 19, 2024.)"

This is a nitpick but technically Illinoise features a prominent LGBTQ+ character.

Otherwise, this is one of the shows I'm most excited about this year.  Maybe it'll fall flat on its face but it really does seem like an inspired take on Cats that has a lot of potential.

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#11The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/15/24 at 12:48am

Saying that the Broadway season "retreated" from queerness feels like a bad journalist trying to propel a false narrative, and using incredibly narrow criteria. As if new musicals are the only things that matter on Broadway.

Lempicka, Illinoise, but also Suffs. Didn't Ohio have multiple queer characters, or was that subtextual?

Plus, beyond new musicals, Cabaret, Spamalot, a solo show by Melissa Etheridge, and queer-coded characters in The Wiz and Gutenberg. Maybe others I'm forgetting too.

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ThatsCoffee
#12The first look inside "Cats: The Jellicle Ball" & exclusive photo
Posted: 5/15/24 at 3:52am

Do we think they will do rush?  I also live very nearby and can find out. 


Does anyone still wear a hat?

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CoffeeBreak
#13The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 4:33am

The big concern is

Zhailon Levingston – Director
Bill Rauch – Director

Good idea..  We will see 

Updated On: 5/15/24 at 04:33 AM

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Impeach2017
#14The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 7:31am

This should bring in all of those people who lined up for the recent movie and whose appetite has only been whetted for even more of this ultra popular material.  

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quizking101
#15The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 8:14am

Listen, I’ve known about this production for a minute. I absolute LOATHE Cats (especially after the movie). 

But I have friends in the cast and they are very invested and excited about this interpretation and are really intent on making this production a celebration of queerness and queer identity using the framework of CATS. I enthusiastically bought a ticket for Pride Sunday, not only to support them, but because this seems like it would be a blast regardless if the concept seems a bit wobbly.

If anything, I know I’m going to get some fierce costuming and stunning choreography (since the cast literally has actual ballroom figures). 

Also, it’s putting Andre De Shields back on stage…something we may not have many more opportunities for. 


Check out my eBay page for sales on Playbills!! www.ebay.com/usr/missvirginiahamm

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CoffeeBreak
#16The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 9:25am

Updated On: 5/15/24 at 09:25 AM

RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
#17The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 11:08am

TheatreFan4 said: "RippedMan said: "But does the script lend itself to voguing and queerness or is this just Cats with disco balls? Are they still pirates?"

The script is a blank slate, what do you mean? It's been said for a long time that Cats has a good story, but doesn't have much in way of a plot. That itself allows itself to be open to many interpretations. That it's taken this long for any different take on the material to happen is kind of a mystery to me. It's a show rife for reinvention.
"

Does it have a good story? I find the whole thing a giant bore. And it’s not really a blank slate if you can’t alter the text or song placements. That’s what I’m asking. If they’re just doing the show with different arrangements that’s fine but I’m curious to see what they add or what they’re allowed to add. 

chrishuyen
#18The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 1:39pm

RippedMan said: "TheatreFan4 said: "RippedMan said: "But does the script lend itself to voguing and queerness or is this just Cats with disco balls? Are they still pirates?"

The script is a blank slate, what do you mean? It's been said for a long time that Cats has a good story, but doesn't have much in way of a plot. That itself allows itself to be open to many interpretations. That it's taken this long for any different take on the material to happen is kind of a mystery to me. It's a show rife for reinvention.
"

Does it have a good story? I find the whole thing a giant bore. And it’s not really a blank slate if you can’t alter the text or song placements. That’s what I’m asking. If they’re just doing the show with different arrangements that’s fine but I’m curious to see what they add or what they’re allowed to add.
"

Did you read the article? They mention:

“There are so many lyrics that are about aging, mortality, and multiple generations,” says Rauch. “That’s really important, because ballroom is this vibrant culture that has been developed and passed down. It’s about community, right? And Cats says so much about the tribe, the community, and the relationship of the individual to the community. It’s about self-expression, which, of course, is completely what ballroom is about; it’s about transformation.”

Levingston was also eager to explore the overlapping of art forms.

“In making this show, there are some easy, overt connections,” says Levingston. “Cats is a pageant. Ballroom is a competition. Those forms can be seen as cousins, in a sense, especially since contemporary ballroom kind of comes from pageant history.”

I think it'll just be drawing out different aspects of what's already into the show and applying a different lens to it.  Kind of like how Romeo and Juliet can be reimagined as a modern day piece, even though it was originally set in Shakespearean times without necessarily changing the actual text.  Since there's been no "additional materials by" or anything I'm assuming they're doing the show as written with different arrangements.  And they can still impose a different story without changing a word of the text because so much of the story is in the movement and direction of the piece rather than the lyrics themselves.

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everythingtaboo
#19The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 1:46pm

I haven't been in that venue, and I have to admit those prices give me sticker shock. Are the cheaper seats a decent view? 




"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008

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Kad
#20The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 1:55pm

Although I’m curious and optimistic about this, I am very tired of the “this is Important, we are doing something Very Important here” angle that so many queer works in any medium adopt to promote themselves. 


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

KJisgroovy Profile Photo
KJisgroovy
#21The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 2:01pm

"And they can still impose a different story without changing a word of the text because so much of the story is in the movement and direction of the piece rather than the lyrics themselves."

While that's true, there are quite a few lyrics that don't make any sense in this context. It's not just that they're cats it's that all the references and sensibilities are exceedingly British and of a certain time. It seems like a really neat idea but I think you're being overly generous with the source. 

Also. Great googly moogly these prices are INSANE for an experimental off-broadway show. 


Jesus saves. I spend.

chrishuyen
#22The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 2:07pm

KJisgroovy said: "While that's true, there are quite a few lyrics that don't make any sense in this context. It's not just that they'recats it's that all the references and sensibilities are exceedingly British and of a certain time. It seems like a really neat idea but I think you're being overly generous with the source."

I do agree that this is the part I'm most curious to see how they present it (Bustopher Jones comes to mind).  And while ballroom culture is mostly an American thing, I wonder if they'll present it as a "no sense of time or place" kind of setting to get around that.  Maybe "cat" will be repurposed as slang?  Like most radical adaptations, I'm not sure that this would fully work, but I think there's enough promise in there to make a coherent vision when presented (kind of like how you could still say not every single moment of the Company revival worked, but the vision was apparent and quite effective).

TheatreFan4 Profile Photo
TheatreFan4
#23The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 3:58pm

RippedMan said: "TheatreFan4 said: "RippedMan said: "But does the script lend itself to voguing and queerness or is this just Cats with disco balls? Are they still pirates?"

The script is a blank slate, what do you mean? It's been said for a long time that Cats has a good story, but doesn't have much in way of a plot. That itself allows itself to be open to many interpretations. That it's taken this long for any different take on the material to happen is kind of a mystery to me. It's a show rife for reinvention.
"

Does it have a good story? I find the whole thing a giant bore. And it’s not really a blank slate if you can’t alter the text or song placements. That’s what I’m asking. If they’re just doing the show with different arrangements that’s fine but I’m curious to see what they add or what they’re allowed to add.
"

Every single major production of Cats has changed scenes, songs, arrangements, characters who sing them, some songs cut entirely, others truncated. So I'm not sure where this idea that they can't change anything is coming from when it's literally the standard.

The show that opened on Broadway was not the same one that closed on Broadway. 

 

Updated On: 5/15/24 at 03:58 PM

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KJisgroovy
#24The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 4:07pm

"Every single major production of Cats has changed scenes, songs, arrangements, characters who sing them, some songs cut entirely, others truncated."

Is this true? I feel like the only text changes I've noticed in the many different productions over the years have involved Growltiger's Last Stand (due to budget and vocal abilities) and Pekes and the Pollicles. I don't think I've really seen much deviation beyond that? 

That said... I'd imagine they'll play around with things a lot here... and I think that's what the poster was asking. How much changing is going to go on? Someone mentioned Company... they changed the text to make that work. This isn't the same situation... or is it? Anyone know? 


Jesus saves. I spend.

TheatreFan4 Profile Photo
TheatreFan4
#25The first look inside
Posted: 5/15/24 at 5:32pm

KJisgroovy said: ""Every single major production of Cats has changed scenes, songs, arrangements, characters who sing them, some songs cut entirely, others truncated."

Is this true? I feel like the only text changes I've noticed in the many different productions over the years have involved Growltiger's Last Stand (due to budget and vocal abilities) and Pekes and the Pollicles. I don't think I've really seen much deviation beyond that?

That said... I'd imagine they'll play around with things a lot here... and I think that's what the poster was asking. How much changing is going to go on? Someone mentioned Company... they changed the text to make that work. This isn't the same situation... or is it? Anyone know?
"

Let's use purely Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer from Cats as an example. It started out as a slow Jazzy song in London sung by the pair, when it moved to Broadway the characters didn't even exist for many years. Instead the song was sung by Quxio while two other Cats in Trash costumes acted out in a more familiar version of the song. It wasn't until the late 80s I believe that what has become the standard version set in.

The order in which the songs feature in the beginning vary as well. The revival combined Pekes and the Pollicles with some of Growltiger. Japan had a Kabuki influence in their make up and  costume design. Rum Tum Tugger was depicted as Elvis instead of Mick Jagger.