Directed by: David Mallet (Cirque de Soleil: Delerium)
Starring: Elaine Paige, John Mills, Ken Page, Michael Gruber, John Partridge
I’m OK with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and I really do like his Phantom of the Opera—and that’s about it for me with Lord Webber. So my pleasure in Cats (1998) is what you’d call limited. This isn’t so much a film in its own right as a reasonably intelligent filming of the stage show by David Mallet, who specializes in doing that sort of thing. He’s very good at it, too, assuming it’s the sort of thing you like. My own take is that these make nice souvenirs for fans of the shows, but they’re neither the show itself, nor are they film adaptations.
The good to be gotten out of this incarnation of Cats will depend entirely on your fondness for the stage show. As noted, my own take on the material—not to mention the Kiss-concert look of the cats (more creepy than not)—precludes unconfined joy from this corner. However, if you do like the show, this is probably the best way to see it, seeing as how it’s no longer being performed on Broadway.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show Cats at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. (From Asheville, take I-26 to U.S. 64 West, turn right at the third light onto Thompson Street. Follow to the Lake Point Landing entrance and park in the lot on the left.)