If you've spent any amount of time online in the past few months, there's a good chance you've heard about Tom Hooper's Cats, which rolls into theaters this weekend. Maybe you've even seen the trailer. Maybe you saw the trailer and thought, "What the fuck was that?", then went scurrying to Wikipedia to learn more about Cats, the impossibly popular Broadway musical that inspired Hooper's film. And maybe when you got there, you had trouble understanding what the hell was happening in that plot synopsis.
This is not an unusual reaction! Cats, for all its success, is a baffling musical (I experienced it myself earlier this year and I'd still have trouble telling you what it's about) with a wild production history, which means there's a whole bunch of information to sort through if you really want to prepare yourself for Hooper's film.
In order to get everyone on the same page, Austin's own John Erler (he of the long-running and very funny Master Pancake Theater screenings held at the Alamo Drafthouse) has put together a primer to help ease you into the Jellicle world. It is a confusing, sensual, sometimes frightening place, but understanding how all of this came to be will only help you enjoy your Cats experience.
Tom Hooper's Cats hits theaters this weekend. Be safe out there, folks.