Cats Was Only the Beginning


On December 20th, 2019, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment released a film version of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats. Which of course, was a Broadway musical version of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Viewer response has been, well, unique. A miasma of CGI and possibly more A list stars than any other cinematic project in the last 20 years. Viewers of this train wreck have prophesied it to become the Rocky Horror Picture Show of the New Millennium.

But not one to be afraid to throw good money after bad, Spielberg is looking to release an updated version of the venerable West Side Story in late 2020. West Side Story, in case you slept through high school English, is of course, an updated version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

With all of this considered, what do we have to look forward to in a new West Side Story? If the oddities from Cats are any indication, then here’s some of what we might be able to expect.

  • Massive crowds. Like maybe a dozen will be in attendance.
  • I’m hoping for more CGI dancing cockroaches. It is New York after all. Maybe instead of the Jets singing ‘Gee, Officer Krupke’ it could be a huge dancing cockroach number. That’s it. Dancing and singing cockroaches.
  • Cats had Dame Judy Dench. West Side Story needs a big serious actor too, like maybe Sir Alec Guinness. I realize he died in 2000, but hey CGI.
  • Cats had a lot of licking. I understand that’s how cats clean themselves, but did we need to see so much of it? Can we expect to see as much licking in West Side Story? The Sharks might have an odd gang ritual where they lick each other as a greeting. That’s it.
  • And then there’s the giant cat orgy. They do this in gangs too, right? Giant gang orgies. That might turn the dozen in the crowd into what, a baker’s dozen?
  • Finally, because the songs in West Side Story were written by the amateurs Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, we need the raw talent of a pop star like Taylor Swift to add a new song or two the the musical. Maybe 50 cent or Cardi B.

Due to hit theatre’s in December 2020. I can hardly wait.