I’m back from New York and a lovely visit with brother Christopher.
We were discussing T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” which they’ve been discussing in his poetry class and which is apparently viewed by many as the most important poem of the 20th century. But scandalously, the biography of T.S. Eliot they read did not so much as mention “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” Christopher observed that it was as if the authors were hoping we might forget about it entirely.
But there’s more to the story. Apparently, “The Tempest” has several musical interludes that are basically the equivalent of musical numbers – thereby making Shakespeare a pioneer in the field of musical theater. Therefore, we can conclude that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” (which is based on selections from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”) is in the tradition of not only T.S. Eliot, the co-author of the most important poem of the 20th century, but of Shakespeare himself.
When this truth finally echoes down the corridors of the ivory towers of academia, and “Cats” has its place as the pinnacle of 20th century culture, just remember, you heard it here first.
Hope to see you on Sunday!