Cats

While grumpy old T.S. Eliot gradually fades from the canon, with poetry of little interest to undergrads hoping to interview at Microsoft or Amazon, his enduring legacy may actually be … yes, Cats. You couldn’t make a Broadway musical out of The Waste Land or The Hollow Men, but his ’30s doggerel about persnickety felines? Sure, yes, that’s exactly what Andrew Lloyd Webber did in 1981—and who needs a plot when you’ve got furry thespians yowling out songs on a stage dressed to look like a giant junk yard? Sounds crazy, but the smash hit ran for some two decades in both London and New York, and it’s been touring near-continuously since its inception. You can call Cats cheesy, but just try to get Lloyd Webber’s songs out of your head. The lack of a plot is actually an advantage of sorts, since there’s no complicated story to follow. There’s no linguistic or cultural barrier to entry, and the costumes further appeal to kids. And maybe, just maybe, when they get a little older they’ll be curious about this Eliot fellow and download MP3s of him reading his poetry—yes, there are lots—onto their iPhones. T. BOND

Tue., April 17, 7:30 p.m.; April 18-22, 2012

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