Cats: The Musical in Ten Minutes
A/N: Unfortunately, it has taken much
longer than ten minutes to write. It's past midnight, Saturday night,
and I'm whipping out Cats in comedy/script-format. My writing skills
have slipped this far. Pity me?
More notes: some jokes are based on the video version of Cats, just because it's the most universal vesrion and the one everyone has seen. And do note that this is intended solely for the purpose of humor and is not intended to offend anyone.
(The curtain opens on a rusty old Junkyard. It's sort of picturesque, because the set is all oversized so to be at cat-scale, but it's really just an excuse for the set crew to not have to do any scene changes. Jellicle Cats enter, singing.)
Jellicle Cats Collectively: Basically, if you do all these things like Cats do, you're a Cat!
Audience: (blank stares)
Cats: Well, it's true!
Munkustrap: (looking out at audience) Hey, someone doesn't get it!
Asparagus: No, seriously? It's not too hard. If you act like a Cat, you're a Cat.
Demeter: We'd better confuse them more.
Jellicle Cats Collectively: We've all got different names, and they're all really special because they're names for Cats! Plus we've got one more name, and it's really REALLY special, but we're not telling! Ha ha!
Audience: (more blank stares)
Munkustrap: Hey, I think they still don't get it!
Asparagus: Well, that poem didn't actually have much to do with explaining what a Jellicle Cat is. It just sort of explained that we have really cool names -
Demeter: Never mind that! Get off of the stage! Victoria is dancing!
Tumblebrutus: Why do we have to! It's not her show!
(Cats sulk off dejectedly as Victoria dances an innocent yet undeniably risqué ballet thingy.)
Mistoffelees: Now's my chance! If I go on now, I might actually be able to sing something!
(Mistoffelees sings and dances, his coup of the show alerting the other Cats and bringing them back onstage.)
Electra: Hey, I thought you were my mate!
Mistoffelees: I just wanted to get to sing! I never get to sing!
Munkustrap: (Looks out at audience once more.) I still think they don't get it. Well, if you want something done right, do it yourself. (Addresses audience.) Basically, we're having a big party. Our tribal master, Old D, is eventually gonna come and kill one of us, and we're all really excited for it, and we can't wait to see who it's gonna be.
Pouncival: WHAT! (Apparently, this is the first time he's heard that little part of the show...)
Munkustrap: Hey, maybe it could be Jennyanydots! She's really fat and never moves anyway. No one would notice if she left!
Jennyanydots: Thank you dearie. I've been waiting for this moment all my life! I've even prepared a little number with tap-dancing cockroaches! Come on out now, dearies!
Munkustrap: That's very nice, Jenny, but actually, this show is really about Cats. It would be kind of awkward to bring in an entirely different animal ... erm, bug into the show right now. I think it would confuse people ... (looks out at audience again) ... erm, more than they already are.
Jennyanydots: Too bad!
(Cockroaches dance a jig.)
Rum Tum Tugger: (From a little off-stage) This is sad. Honestly, who would put bugs in a show about Cats! This must be stopped. (Makes a grand entrance.) Hey everybody! I'm the Rum Tum Tugger! I'm curious!
Jellicle Cats Collectively: About what?
Rum Tum Tugger: Everything! I can't stand to be in the same place for more than thirty seconds! So I might be popping in and out of this show, by the way. Just some fair warning. I also like to sleep in cupboards, eat furry mammals almost the same size as myself (like rabbits!), I live in an apartment, I can't stand -
Mistoffelees: He's boring!
Rum Tum Tugger: Hey, you don't get to sing! Shut up!
Jellicle Queens Collectively Except Jennyanydots: He's so sexy! We can't resist him!
Plato: You know, you guys have a point there. He is kind of sexy ... and he has very pretty feet ...
(Plato is pummeled by queens eager to protect their prize.)
Plato: (rather injured) Fine! I'll turn into a evil criminal mastermind! Then see how you like it!
Bombalurina: Whatever! Just go away!
Rum Tum Tugger: (Climbing onto something. It doesn't really matter what. It's just something he can climb onto. Don't overanalyze the parenthetical notes.) Hey everybody! Look at me! I'm the king of the -
Grizabella: Hey, can I join the tribe again?
Munkustrap: No, go away! I will protect the tribe from you at all costs!
Demeter: Plus, you're smelly and we don't like you. Go away.
Grizabella: Fine, but I'll be back!
Mistoffelees: Hey, it's - !
Skimbleshanks: (clapping a paw over Mistoffelees' mouth) You don't talk, remember?
Mistoffelees: (muffled) Then how do I - ?
Skimbleshanks: Shh. Mime.
(Mistoffelees makes a feeble attempt at miming. Others look on in confusion.)
Asparagus: What the heck is he trying to -
Jennyanydots: Hey, it's Bustopher Jones!
Mistoffelees: That's what I was trying to - !
Skimbleshanks: What did I say, young tom!
Mistoffelees: Fine. I'll just kiss up to Bustopher. See how you like it.
Jennyanydots: Yes, this is Bustopher Jones. He's the heaviest cat around, but he's still pretty classy. Isn't that right, BJ?
Bustopher Jones: Yes. I'm fat, but I still have class.
Jennyanydots: Certainly. And somehow, this is oddly attractive ... I find myself attracted to you for some reason...
Other Jellicle Queens Collectively: Ah ... we don't.
Jennyanydots: I guess it's just me then.
(Wild lighting-sounds break through the junkyard.)
Bombalurina: Actually, it's just Plato. He said he'd go off and pretend to be bad and scary, remember?
Munkustrap: It doesn't matter! Flee!
(Jellicle Cats flee as if for their lives, leaving Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer onstage.)
Mungojerrie: Whoi'd everybody go?
Rumpleteazer: Doosn't matter. Loik at all the neat-o stooff we got!
Mungojerrie: Yeah, everybody, we'h Mungojerrie an' Rumpleteazer. I'm the boy, an she's the goil. If ya' couldn' tell froim the ba'ly wroitten cockney ac'ents ... we've goit badly writ'en cockney ac'ents. We'h cat-boiglah Cats! See! Cats? And boiglah's! It's funny on ac'ount uh' we're Cats, an' we'h also boiglah's, an' -
Rumpleteazer: I thoink they go' it.
Mungojerrie: Jus' makin' shure!
Rumpleteazer: The woine thin' you ... (But she is suddenly interrupted. In their argument, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer have failed to notice that the rest of the Cats have come back from Macavity-hunting.)
Mungojerrie: (Finally noticing approaching Cats.) Hey, woi're surron'ed! Uhm ... run this way! An' moiybe if we t'row oir bags awoiy, dey won' no'ice! (They chuck their bags.) Aw, it dinna woirk!
Rumpleteazer: Aww, shucks.
Mistoffelees: Hey, Old Deuteronomy is coming!
Jellicle Cats Collectively: YOU DON'T GET TO SING!
Coricopat and Tantomile (in eerie unison): Actually, he's right.
Munkustrap: Whatever, just go away. Bring him back, while you're at it.
Mistoffelees: Fine! I'll go kiss up to Old Deuteronomy then! See if you care!
Cassandra: Just leave. I'm going to attempt to dislocate my legs.
Munkustrap: (To audience) Yeah, our leader, Old Deuteronomy is coming. We call him "Old," because he's really old. Like, really, really old.
Rum Tum Tugger: You forgot that he's a serial rapist, and he's like, the father of everybody here.
Victoria: WHAT! (No more sitting on Daddy's lap for this little kitty!)
Rum Tum Tugger: Well, sort of. He was married to all of them while he did it. But for some reason, they all die within 72 hours...
Jellicle Cats Collectively: Whatever. He's our leader, and we love him.
Old Deuteronomy: Hey, everybody!
Mistoffelees: I brought him back!
Tumblebrutus: Shut up, brown-noser.
Pouncival: Gah! The one who will kill one of us is here! I know! I'll assemble an army! Then he can't get me!
Munkustrap: (rolling his eyes) You go do that Pounce. I'll make up a story for him so that he doesn't realize what you're doing.
Pouncival: Gotcha! (runs off)
Munkustrap: So ... uh ... there was a big dog-fight! There were some boy dogs, and they where some girl dogs, and they were called the Pekes and the Pollicles respectively. And they could bark really good. Except when they were Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, however.
Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer: Hey!
Jennyanydots: (whispering to him) That's "really WELL."
Munkustrap: Whatever. And they had a big fight. But some cat named ... The Great Rumpus Cat came and stopped them! And they all ran away. The end.
Etcetera: (whispering to Electra) Did Admetus shave off most his fur?
Electra: Yeah, it looks like he did. But don't worry. It'll grow back in time for the Jellicle Ball.
Jemima/Sillabub (nobody's quite sure which): We get to have a ball!
Bombalurina: Any excuse to talk about ourselves more!
Jellicle Cats Collectively: Hey, we're all black and white, even though not really. We're also really good actors, and dancers, and singers, and really anything else you can think of.
Cassandra: Hey, I did it! I've accomplished my life-long dream! I can touch both sides of the stage at once with my toes!
Jellicle Cats Collectively: Let's dance for ten straight minutes!
(Jellicle Cats dance a jig. In the middle of it:)
Plato: Hey, I'm back! Victoria, come have sex with me!
Plato: You know you want to. You did the coming-of-age thing at the beginning, remember?
Plato: Okay, fine. We'll just dance sexually.
Other Jellicle Cats Collectively: We will too!
(Dancing goes on, builds to exciting crescendo, and ends spectacularly.)
Grizabella: Hey, can I join the tribe?
Demeter (huffing and puffing in exhaustion): Oh no. She's back.
Munkustrap: Now ... listen you ... oh geez. I'm too tired. Just ... go entertain them while we recuperate.
(Jellicle Cats creep offstage to get some rest after dancing for ten straight minutes.)
Grizabella: Um ... (looks at audience, unsure) ... well, you think they should let me back, right? I have a pretty voice. And I used to be beautiful, too. It's kind of sad, really. Wouldn't you think ... (gives up) ... Oh, never mind. I'll go away for a while now.
Old Deuteronomy: Wait, don't go! Do I know you from somewhere - ? (But it is too late. Grizabella is gone. Confused, Old D sits down on a tire to think for twenty minutes. House lights come on for intermission.)
(Backstage during the intermission:)
Pouncival: Hey, Plato! That was a pretty cool thing you did with the turning-evil-for-a-while thing!
Pouncival (taking him aside): Ahm ... do you think you could do it again? I kind of don't want this Old-D-is-gonna-kill-somebody thing to become a big issue. Just ... kidnap him or something, will you?
Plato: Sure thing.
(House lights go down and show starts up once more.)
Jemima/Sillabub: And now, an inspirational word from our great and wise tribal master!
Old Deuteronomy (awakened from his stupor): Hmm, what? Oh, uh ... don't have extra-marital sex, don't do drugs, pray for the people who made the film Gigli, and if you see gum on the street, don't eat it. It's not free candy.
Jellicle Cats Collectively: Amen.
Jellylorum: Hey, look at this guy! His name is Gus, and he can't really do much because he's really old now.
Etcetera: Isn't that Asparagus?
Jellylorum: Yeah. Gus is short for Asparagus.
Etcetera: But wasn't he singing and dancing with the rest of us this whole time?
Gus: Shh! I have a condition!
Jellylorum: And he used to be a really good actor, too.
Gus: I still am a good actor! And I'll prove it! I've got this whole pirate-song/dance/act to do!
Munkustrap: We're not doing the pirate song.
Gus: What? Yes we are! Why can't we do the pirate song?
Alonzo: Actually, Munkustrap is right. The show's lawyers decided that having a 112-year-old cat dancing around and pretending to be a pirate was too much of a liability. You might break a hip. So we can't do the pirate song.
Gus: Aww, shucks.
Old Deuteronomy: Hey, what about Skimble? He's cool, too.
Skimbleshanks: (addressing the audience) Yes, everybody. My name is Skimbleshanks, and I'm a railway cat! Half the time I'm away riding around on trains, and I supervise everybody just because I'm so much smarter than them because I'm a cat!
Coricopat and Tantomile: Actually, he never leaves the junkyard. He just plays around in this big pretend train right here and thinks he's in a human train. Show them, everybody.
(Cats construct a train from junk.)
Skimbleshanks: You see! My train! It's my train!
Coricopat and Tantomile: You see what we mean.
(Wild lighting-sounds break through the junkyard again.)
Bombalurina: It's just Plato!
Macavity: Boo. (Makes off with now-kidnapped Jellicle master.)
Munkustrap: Come back, you! Demeter and Bombalurina, explain to the audience what's going on! (Jellicle Toms follow Munkustrap in pursuit.)
Demeter: Macavity is a criminal and he's very scary! And nobody can catch him!
Bombalurina: It's just Plato. He does have a pretty cool Macavity costume though. It's all red and messy. It's kind of sexy, too.
Jellicle Queens: Yeah! (All dance.)
Munkustrap (returning): Hey, I couldn't find him!
Bombalurina: That's okay. Old D is coming back now, anyway.
Demeter: That's not Old Deuteronomy! It's Macavity!
Bombalurina: Okay, Demi? Even if it were Macavity, it wouldn't be Macavity. It would be Plato.
Munkustrap: It is Macavity! Get him! (Engages Macavity in combat, but is badly beaten.)
Jellylorum: Sheesh. If you want a job done, do it yourself. (She takes down Macavity in two swipes.)
Macavity: Yipe! (Runs away.)
Munkustrap: Well, I got him weaker for you ...
Demeter (nuzzling): Oh, you're so brave ...
Munkustrap: Hey, I was brave, wasn't I?
Alonzo: Whatever. Now where's Old Deuteronomy?
Rum Tum Tugger: I've got an idea. Hey, sparkle-butt!
Mistoffelees: I'm here!
Rum Tum Tugger: Bring back the old guy, will ya' short stuff?
Mistoffelees: Fine. (He waves his paws and Old Deuteronomy appears.)
Mistoffelees: Sheesh. I can't sing, but I can bring back the kidnapped Jellicle leader, is that it?
Rum Tum Tugger: Yeah, that's it. You can shut up now.
Munkustrap: Well, the sun's almost up, and Deuteronomy is back. I think it's time to pick who dies now.
Grizabella: Can I join the tribe again?
Munkustrap: No, not her! Uhm ... quick! Everybody turn your back to her! Maybe she won't notice we're here? (Jellicle Cats pretend to be invisible.)
Grizabella: Um, I can still see you. Can I join the tribe? I'm sorry I left. And if you touch me, you'll know the meaning of happiness!
Victoria: (Touches her gingerly and contemplates.) Em ... nope. I don't feel enlightened or anything.
Bombalurina: This is getting sad. Old D, can we just kill her?
Old Deuteronomy: Yeah, that sounds good. Grizabella, I choose you.
Pouncival: Thank you, Everlasting Cat!
Grizabella: What, I've been chosen? Cool! What for?
Old Deuteronomy: (Leads her up on a big floating tire.) By the way, do I know you from somewhere?
Grizabella: Yes. I married you. But then I found out what happened to the rest of your wives, so I got a divorce and ran away before it was too late.
Old Deuteronomy: Oh yeah, huh. Ah well, it's time for you to go.
Old Deuteronomy: Yes, go. Just follow that big claw in the sky. We'll all be waiting for you at the top.
Old Deuteronomy: Yes, really. Now go.
Grizabella: Well, okay. (She follows claw up to the top. The door to the Heaviside Layer locks behind her, and the claw rises back up to the sky.)
Rum Tum Tugger: Good riddance.
Munkustrap: Indeed. (Looks out at audience) Ah, I think we better sum up the show for them before they go. Old Deuteronomy?
Old Deuteronomy: Sure. People, make sure you always treat your Cats with respect, because basically, we're terrific.
Jellicle Cats Collectively: Amen!
(Backstage after the show.)
Pouncival: Hey, Plato! That was a great kidnap thing you pulled off! Too bad it didn't really work in the end.
Plato: What are you talking about? I was in the dressing room for all of the second act! I couldn't get my Macavity costume on. There was something wrong with the zipper. It had white, black, and reddish fur all in it, and I think there were lipstick marks all over the back of it, too.
Pouncival: But ... if you weren't onstage, then who ... ?