Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the soft-opening of "Katdashians! The Musical!", an Off-Broadway show parodying both the Kardashians and the musical "Cats." Kardashian fan that I am, the show was wildly entertaining, and even the Kardashian-ignorant friend who accompanied me called it, "a helpful primer for understanding their lives." But the rest of the world may never get to see CATlyn Jenner's magnificent performance of "Meowmeries," thanks to one of the most successful men in Broadway history—Andrew Lloyd Webber is suing the show to stop them from using anything resembling the "Cats" music. Andrew Lloyd Webber is the musical world's very own Scott Disick.
"Katdashians! The Musical!" is the brainchild of Bob and Tobly McSmith, whose previous credits include "Full House! The Musical!" and "Bayside! The Musical!" Performances are going on now at the Elektra Theatre in Times Square, where you can see feline versions of Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie, Kris and the aforementioned CATlyn as they stride onstage, baring claws and stuffed backsides Kardashian-style. The musical is hilarious, fun, and totally campy, and though it takes some musical cues from "Cats," (a show that was way too scary for me to see as a child), the execution is wholly original. In addition to the human cats—stars include Carmen Mendoza, Elliott Brooks, Bridget Kennedy, Bailey Nolan, and the outstanding Peter Smith—Scott Disick appears as a puppet, Lamar Odom's a giant basketball, and Kris Jenner boytoy Corey Gamble shows up as something that probably wouldn't fit in the top drawer of your nightstand.
I laughed so hard I cried, but not everyone was as impressed. Legal representatives for "Cats" creator Webber sent the McSmiths threatening legal letters alleging that the show stole the legendary composer's work. "It is clear that the production is not a parody of ‘Cats’" the letter reads, pointing out that the musical features six songs that sound similar to "Cats" original soundtrack. "Our client’s property is being extensively misappropriated to parody another subject matter entirely."
Though the plot of "Cats" is so convoluted probably anything could parody it, it appears the McSmiths don't want to mess with the big guns at the House of Lords. Tobly McSmith provided us with the following statement:
We were so surprised by the legal action taken by Andrew Lloyd Webber's team to stop our parody of Cats and Kardashians! We know how much Andrew Lloyd Webber loves parody and thought that he would get a kick out of our parody of Cats! I guess we were wrong about that.
Lucky for us, our original songs are enjoyed by the audience more than the Cats parody songs, so it makes sense to remove and replace them with our own songs and settle the legal issues with Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Though the show won't be quite the same without "Meowmeries," McSmith hopes the increased press will garner some more famous faces in the crowd:
Our shows will go on as scheduled with the next purrrformance on Thursday July 7th with new music! We would like to purrrsonally invite Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to the show. We think he'll be tickled pink by it. We'd also like to invite the Kardashian family, especially Kris Jenner. We would like Kris Jenner to be in our show. We wouldn't even ask her to audition! She's in!
It does seem unfair that someone with an estimated net worth of £650 million is going after a campy off-Broadway show that uses stuffed kitten dolls in place of Kourtney Kardashian's children, but the pound is struggling post-Brexit, so I suppose even Britain's second richest musician can't be too careful.
Meanwhile, the revamped "Katdashians" will run Thursdays through Saturdays, from July 7th to July 30th. Tickets are $25 to $35 and can be purchased online.