The Resource For Musicals



Cats Forum


Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
"Gus the Theater Cat" appreciation thread 
Author Message
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:05 pm
Posts: 1609
Location: Eastern U.S.
Post "Gus the Theater Cat" appreciation thread
I've noticed that "Gus" hasn't been getting a lot of love on this site, so I thought I'd start a thread to remedy that. So anyway, I'm admittedly not a big fan of Cats, but I've recently fallen in love with this song! I'm not sure why it's so appealing to me, but I think it's one of Webber's finest melodies and I see it as an allegory for how the true legends of theater are almost unheard of now. So, who else loves this wonderful song?

_________________
Brian aka Apples2for10

"...Apples is probably the one who's posted the most relevant musical stuff long term in the past few months."- UniquePerspective


Last edited by Apples2for10 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:02 am
Profile
Tony Winner
Tony Winner
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:15 am
Posts: 452
Current Obsession: CATS the Musical!
Main Role: Costume Designer
Post 
Personally, I love the Gus number in the show. It's a quiet song, a nice break from the jazzy uptempo songs in the first act. I also like Old Deuteronomy as well.

Gus is also my favorite as I love the character of Jellylorum as well. Her caretaking of Gus just warms my heart. I like to think of Jelly as one of Gus' nieces and she is taking care of her older "Uncle." Also the fact that Jelly sings about the life of Gus she must have seen him perform as a young kitten, LOL! If you like to make up stories that way.

Gus, is definitely older and frailer but he still has some spunk in him left. I also love how different actors take on the role and how they portray his character. Sometimes he's played as a rough, old geezer reminiscing about "the good old days," and at other times he's played as a much quieter, more thoughtful, lonesome character who is happy with his retirement but still feels quite proud of his accomplishments in his life.

Purrs,
VTWC


Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:57 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 6:22 pm
Posts: 1516
Location: Southern California USA
Current Obsession: Fanfiction - CATS
Post Yes...
As someone who has been voted in as Gus on the CATS Forum Casting several times, I like the "Old Codger". He is at his best, in my opinion, when he is played as a somewhat comedic storyteller. He has things to tell of his "Glory Days" where he was (or was not) someone of importance, where his reminiscing saddens him, recalling of the many roles and experiences gladdens him, and the great memory of Growltiger is so vivid so as to bring it to life... I especially enjoy the role when he interacts with Jellylorum and the audience.

His character reminds me of another role in another musical - the part of "Henry" in the Fantasticks. An old actor trying to continue in his role, and fails, but does remember one important thing... "Remember Me... in Light!" Gus does not forget the importance of the Spotlight either... for he did, indeed, "made History"...

Rumblepurr
The Writer Cat.

_________________
Image SINCE JANUARY 2009
CLICK HERE TO GO TO WEBPAGE


Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:23 pm
Profile WWW
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:42 am
Posts: 704
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Current Obsession: CATS, Charm&Smiley.
Main Role: Fan
Post 
I like to see Gus as the main candidate for the choice if Grizabella didnt steal the show from him at the last moment since he is the obvious candidate untill Memory.

I love the part, mainly cause its so many actors/actress and other stars that has experienced the same during the years, they started as young and famous and ended up as tragic reminder off they past who, as gus says, could do it again... Its said that we tend to remember thoose as they are rather than as they were.

And that he reprises in old part Growltiger, with Jellylorum as growltigers Siren, Lady Griddleborne, is also a perfect part off that character. Its the comic relief that the second act need to be more balanced.

And talking about Jellylorum, I am still not sure off what her relationship with Gus is, its clearly she has a strong connection, almost a bit off love, to the old man and she is clearly a caretaker/patron off him. I guess there isnt any retirement livings for old cats? :wink: Id like to think as her as a daughter or granddaughter to the old man.

_________________
Charm&Smiley-A Lone Dog.
"Do I actually see with my own very eyes?
A man that havent heard off a Jellicle cat?"


Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:22 am
Profile
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:53 pm
Posts: 517
Location: UK
Main Role: Other...
Post 
In the universe that I created for my website/fiction, Jellylorum was the best friend of his daughter, who she was partially responsible for the disappearence of when they were young. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil it for anyone in case they want to read it later. But it basically started off as guilt and then she became more like a daughter of his herself.

_________________
In search of male voices for a new concept album. PM for details.

Image


Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:15 am
Profile WWW
Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:35 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Singapore
Post 
I think that it seems to be better at making us feel lumps in our throat. I can't exactly say why, but there is something so sincere about this song. It just unfolds naturally as Gus speaks of his long-vanished past, and I think watching it on stage makes you believe in his character...


Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:41 pm
Profile
Chorus Member
Chorus Member

Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:59 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Somewhere in New Jersey
Post Re: "Gus the Theater Cat" appreciation thread
One thing I wondered since I saw this at age twelve...

Gus is an old, broken-down cat looking back on his days of glory, and the rest of the tribe is sympathetic to him.

Grizabella is an old, broken-down cat looking back on her days of glory...and the rest of the tribe treats her like dirt until the end!

Double standard much?

(Then again, when I first saw the show I was so young that I didn't pick up on the "fallen woman/whore" connotations of Griz's character. I just thought she was a beauty who'd gotten old and lost her looks.)

_________________
For out of what we live and we believe...
Our lives become the stories that we weave.
-- "Once On This Island"


Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:24 am
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 6:22 pm
Posts: 1516
Location: Southern California USA
Current Obsession: Fanfiction - CATS
Post Re: "Gus the Theater Cat" appreciation thread
Although this posting could be looked upon as bringing up a long quiet post, I will allow it since it stays within the original thread.

@Jennifer - the difference between Gus and Grizabella is that Gus stayed with the Tribe whereas Griz left to seek her fortune elsewhere. The show's lyrics do not tell us what she did to earn the shunning that greets her every time she appears until the end. However, if one is aware of the background of Grizabella's character, we get the impression that whatever swept her off to the Big Time, she eventually fell into bad times and street-walking. TS Eliot drew "Grizabella" (an unpublished poem that did not get included in "Practical Cats") from a French poem that looked sadly upon the prostitutes of Paris. However, he was afraid the poem was not suitable for his godchildren, and he never published it.

When Gus completes Growltiger, he bows to the Genghis memory to acknowledge the honor all his years of applause and roles gave him. Jellylorum shows us that he is like a "beloved uncle" to Tribal members (even if some of them fall asleep during his soliloquy). In a way, he already has his award, and he will probably pass away in his dreams of the past. In short, he does not need the Choice.

Grizabella shows us through MEMORY that she knows what she had and what she threw away. At the end, she does not appeal to the Tribe, but mostly Old Deuteronomy. Even Sillabub/Jemima can feel the bitterness in what Grizabella lost - a series of failures and bad times that Griz went through that Gus did not. You will notice that Victoria is the one to convey Old Deuteronomy's Choice to Griz. The White Cat... A picture of innocence forgiving the wayward member... Here, honor is being returned to someone who needs it more than everyone else... I believe that this is one interpretation of this scene... and why Grizabella went the Heavyside...

Regards,
Rumblepurr
The Old Writer Cat.

_________________
Image SINCE JANUARY 2009
CLICK HERE TO GO TO WEBPAGE


Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:12 am
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 8 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.