After all of the hype, Brett Gelman’s "1,000 Cats" became a full-fledged, stand-alone show last night at the UCB Theatre in New York City. That is, it’s the show described by Brett Gelman, as Brett Gelman, serious musical theatre actor, as what the show could be when fully realized onstage. Which would include "a cast of at least 976" and be staged at the Vatican. As he noted, "Nothing about this was funny…But I’d like to thank all of the comedy blogs for promoting it, anyhow." The picture here does not describe the actual show, which has Gelman essentially pitching what he hopes his show could be, a ridiculous, audacious, high-energy, 20-minute song-and-dance pitch, complete with rollerskating cats, baby cats, robot cats, cat #312, an African cat dance ritual, a Jesus kitty and a devil cat. All performed by Gelman in a black leotard and kitty ears. Noah Warner provided the music. It’s tightly choreographed. I’m not sure how much longer Gelman could’ve kept up that pace without collapsing in a heap on the stage. Afterward, he re-emerged onstage and announced: "We are all one, because we experienced this together."
Then he asked Pat, the UCB tech, for the time. "30 minutes." "30 minutes?" Gelman replied in semi-mock horror. So he said he’d take questions from the audience. A young woman asked where the "lucky" cat was, which prompted Gelman to growl, "Sorry to disappoint you!" and exclaim in wonderment, "Does anyone here have a question that’s not about my f*cking commercial?!"
I don’t know when Gelman plans on mounting this production again, but when he does, you absolutely must see it.