Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I first saw the musical Cats in the spring of 1983 when I went with my high school drama club to New York City. I saw it again in London in 1987 and dragged Fred to it when we went to London in August, 1989. Last night made the fourth time, when the kids and I (and, of course, a few rodents) traveled to Düsseldorf to see it auf Deutsch. We're back home in Mannheim tonight, and our travels are OVER until my sister arrives in mid-April, but I am pleased to report that Cats was a smashing success.

Our trip got off to a rocky start when we went to the theater from our hotel to pick up our tickets and to scope out our path for that evening. We were walking under an overpass when we got to see (and hear!) an unarmed pigeon take on an automobile. The poor little guy was strolling across the street, and I honestly thought he was going to make it. In fact, that's why I let us continue standing there, staring in horror. I just knew that we would see him hop up the curb on the other side of the road, and we would not then have to go through the rest of the day wondering whether or not he made it. He didn't make it. That's when I decided that we would be taking a taxi to and from the theater that evening, so that we didn't have to risk strolling by his poor little smooshed carcass.

The kids posed with the rodents outside the theater when we stopped at the box office for our tickets. You can see from the look on Annabelle's face that at this point she was still pretty traumatized by the carnage we had just witnessed:

Annabelle is holding Pellet, who apparently fears nothing, and Mike is holding Ears the rabbit, who fears only sock puppets (you would have to ask the kids about this). Cheezer is hiding his head in Annabelle's shirt. According to Mike and Annabelle, when asked who his favorite cat was, Cheezer said, "Macavity, because he makes all the other cats go away and then he disappears!"

We spent the remainder of the afternoon strolling around Düsseldorf. I took this picture of a church, but I couldn't tell you which church it is. I just thought it was pretty:

We returned to the hotel for a nap and a quick bite of supper (sandwiches of rolls and lunch meats that we bought at the train station market) before hailing a cab back to the theater. We were delighted to discover that our seats were smack dab in the middle of the third row. When the lights went out and the music started and the cat eyes started blinking in the dark, Annabelle stage whispered to me, "This is amazing!"

We all enjoyed the show, but Annabelle was especially impressed. I think she has a bit of a crush on the Rum Tum Tugger. She spent most of last night and this morning mooning over his picture in our souvenir program, which now automatically falls open to his page.

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