Back in the autumn of 1981, my significant-other-at-the-time and I shopped a record store. "Look," she said, reaching for a black album, "it's the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical."
I was interested. I loved "Jesus Christ Superstar", had recently gotten into "Evita," but I hadn't heard of .... "Cats." This new show had opened in London and this cast album had been released, but it had not yet opened on Broadway. I also loved T.S. Eliot's poetry, so I purchased the album.
I played the album constantly during that 1981-82 school year, my final year in seminary. My friends really liked it, too, and wondered what it was.
Funny to think that, 35 years later, the show is still quite strong and is being revived on Broadway. (The article in this weekend's NYT prompted this Memory---pun intended.) Broadway aficionados regret that more worthy shows open and close quickly, while this plotless extravaganza persists. But I too like to dip into the album every so often, have seen the show three times over the years---and I'm proud of a possibly unique moment when, thanks to my SO's knowledge of theatre, I was ahead of a major cultural event.