as the fur flies

December 24, 2019

Perhaps you’ve heard: the movie version of “Cats” is here. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical opened on Broadway in 1982 and is still running, so what could go wrong?

Apparently, more than you’d expect. Rotten Tomatoes, which gives the film 17% on the Tomatometer (as of this writing), says, “Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery.” Me-ow!

Somewhat hastily released to make scheduled screenings, the film is being reissued with some quick fixes. Here’s Louis Bayard’s commentary in The New York Times.

As the fur flies, it bears repeating that the inspiration for all this drama is a book of rhyming poetry: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. If you don’t have a copy on your shelf and the library copy is checked out, you can read it online at Project Gutenberg.

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