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Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jellicle Cats Are Coming to NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey: Tuesday, November 18th - Sunday, November 23rd

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Are you blind when you’re born? Can you see in the dark?
Dare you look look at a king? Would you sit on his throne?
Can you say of your bite that it’s worse than your bark?
Are you cock of the walk when you’re walking alone?

Because jellicles are and jellicles do
Jellicles do and jellicles would
Jellicles would and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do

When you fall on your head, do you land on your feet?
Are you tense when you sense there’s a storm in the air?
Can you find your way blind when you’re lost in the street?
Do you know how to go to the heaviside layer?

Because jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicles do and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicles do and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do

If I can still remember my own excitement about seeing Cats on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre over 20 years ago, when I was in my late teens or early twenties, imagine the jumping up and down that is going on with my own little jellicle cats, London and Maddie, as we approach the magical day when Rex and I are taking them to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats performed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, New Jersey.
Can you ride on a broomstick to places far distant?
Familiar with candle, with book, and with bell?
Were you Whittington’s friend? The Pied Piper’s assistant?
Have you been an alumnus of heaven and hell?

Are you mean like a minx? Are you lean like a lynx?
Are you keen to be seen when you’re smelling a rat?
Were you there when the pharoahs commissioned the Sphinx?
If you were, and you are, you’re a jellicle cat

Jellicle songs for jelllicle cats

We can dive through the air like a flying trapeze
We can turn double somersaults, bounce on a tire
We can run up a wall, we can swing through the trees
We can balance on bars, we can walk on a wire

Not that London and Maddie really need any prompting to launch into gymnastic and acrobatic acts around the house, but Rex and I are already anticipating the basement performances that will be inspired by Cats.  I’ve downloaded the soundtrack to my iPod, and the girls have been busy practicing the words to favorites such as the opening “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats” that I’ve shared with you here, “Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser,” and the most-well-known-but-hard-to-sing-along-with “Memory.”  Maddie, who remains hesitant about ballet and modern dance performances expressed without words, was particularly pleased to hear so many enchanting lyrics.

Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats

Can you sing at the same time in more than one key?
Duets by Rossini and waltzes by Strauss?
And can you (as cats do) begin with a ‘C’?
That always triumphantly brings down the house?

Jellicle cats are queen of the nights
Singing at astronomical heights
Handling pieces from the ‘Messiah’
Hallelujah, angelical Choir

The mystical divinity of unashamed felinity
Round the cathedral rang ‘Vivat’
Life to the everlasting cat!
Feline, fearless, faithful and true
To others who do-what

Jellicles do and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicle cats sing jellicle chants
Jellicles old and jellicles new
Jellicle song and jellicle dance
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats

Cats is an award-winning musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, and jellicle cats come in all shapes and sizes, with magical names like Grizabella (the Glamour Cat), Mr. Mistoffelees, Old Deuteronomy, Skimbleshanks (the Railway Cat), Jennyanydots, Bustopher Jones, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser.

Practical cats, dramatical cats
Pragmatical cats, fanatical cats
Oratorical cats, Delphicoracle cats
Skeptical cats, Dispeptical cats
Romantical cats, Pedantical cats
Critical cats, parasitical cats
Allegorical cats, metaphorical cats
Statistical cats and mystical cats
Political cats, hypocritical cats
Clerical cats, hysterical cats
Cynical cats, rabbinical cats

Jellicle songs for jellicle cats

There’s a man over there with a look of surprise
As much as to say well now how about that?
Do I actually see with my own very eyes
A man who’s not heard of a jellicle cat?
What’s a jellicle cat?

What’s a jellicle cat??!! For those of you still wondering, the best way to answer the question is to check out the show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, New Jersey. I scooped up amazingly close aisle seats in the front orchestra for Rex, London, Maddie and me as soon as they went on sale in May.  Luckily for those of you who waited until the last minute, there are still some Cats tickets available to each of the following performances:

  • Tuesday, November 18th at 7:30pm;
  • Wednesday, November 19th at 7:30pm;
  • Thursday, November 20th at 1:30pm and 7:30pm;
  • Friday, November 21st at 8:00pm;
  • Saturday, November 22nd at 2:00pm and 8:00pm;
  • Sunday, November 23rd at 3:00pm.

Our family is going to the Saturday matinee, so if one or more of Roxy’s loyal readers make it to an earlier performance of Cats at NJPAC, we’d sure appreciate it if you’d share your comments here at Roxy’s Best Of… and check back after the show on Saturday, November 22nd for a full report from London and Maddie, Rex and Roxy.


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