Etiquette for CATS Fans

It’s about time someone spoke up about the appalling way in which CATS fans behave sometimes. I found the following advice on the wonderful Cats Musical website and I urge ALL fans of CATS to HEED it.

Because of the popularity of the video and so many new theatre fans that Cats attracts, a gentle reminder of how to behave at the show is needed. Some of these are pretty basic, but they need to be addressed. This is intended for Cats fans attending shows in the US, UK, and possibly Germany. The costuming sections doesn’t apply to Budapest or Japanese venues as I don’t know the customs there. 1) It is best if you do not sing along with the cast. It can throw cast members off and it is distracting to the people around you. Remember people sitting in the audience paid a lot of money to hear the cast sing — not some fan. (NOTE: “Mouthing-along” the words to the songs is without a consensus. Some cast members find it distracting, some don’t mind it and it may potentially lead to a “staring contest.” If you sit away from the stage you may get away with it.)

2) Do not dance in the aisles. Do not make dancing motions in your seat. This is very distracting to the cast members onstage as well as to others around you.

3) Excessive talking, screaming, or squealing isn’t proper and is distracting to the cast and audience members around you.

4) It’s not considered proper theatre etiquette to got to a show dressed as members from the show — [but] this is theatre etiquette for Cats fans and it is generally acceptable to go to the show in costume. However, there are some things to consider when attending the show in costume:

a) Be prepared to remove your wig to allow those behind you to see. You may want to ask those behind you if they want you to remove it. (Even if you are short or you wig is small–do this, it’s a matter of courtesy.)

b) Do not sign autographs for members of the public who think you are in the cast. It is best to explain to them that you are not a member of the cast and that you are flattered by them mistaking you for one.

c) At one point in time on Broadway the dance captain instructed the cast not to interact with audience members in costume. This was because she felt costumers were distracting to others in the audience. (NOTE: The dance captain is now involved with many regional productions in the US.)

d) Sometimes Cast members do like costumers. I remember sitting next to a group of three costumers at one of the final tour shows in Michigan. They got a lot of attention from an appreciative Cast. Just remember that it’s not always guaranteed or liked by everyone.

5) Cell phones, beepers, pagers,etc.. SHOULD ALL BE TURNED OFF. If you’re a doctor (etc.) on call use the vibrate function. NEVER talk on the phone in the theatre once the show has begun.

6) Flash Photography is a matter of safety at the show — the cast do back flips, jumps, and other dance feats — it’s not just a matter of copyright. It’s a matter of safety.

7) If you do happen to be able to correspond via the internet with a cast member after a show it’s best not to ask the performers if s/he remembers you. They see a full audience every night and it is assuming a bit too much on their parts to ask if they remember one person specifically from the stage door.

Bravo. We need more of this kind of advice in these troubled times.

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