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Tear Jerker: Cats
It's probably highly mockable, but when Grizabella sings Memory in Cats, numerous people bawl every single time. Although the whole "rising to a higher plane" symbolism staging helps, the song alone can make you cry.
During the song she lays down on the ground seemingly intent on giving up on life and dying there and then when suddenly Jemima, the youngest of the kittens looking on, begins to sing. Her voice sung by Helen Massie is so beautiful it can move anyone to tears.
The 'Gus the Theater Cat' number in the movie version is very emotional when Gus attempts to repeat his last lines and can't because it makes him so emotional. It's made even more sad by the fact that the man who played Gus, Sir John Mills, is now dead.
Oh, yeah. That's three-hanky moment, in part because it would be so easy to mock him, but the other cats are so caring of him, and in part because of Sir John's performance.
Thirding. "Gus the Theater Cat" is absolutely a tearjerker, especially the line:
There's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell, that moment of mystery when I made history . . .
Cried like a little girl with a skinned knee.
The looks on all the cats' faces at the end, when Grizabella is finally accepted. Your heart. It will be warm.
The scene right after Munkustrap's battle with Macavity, meeting Demeter in front of the spotlight. He was thrown to the ground and didn't get up, but after the lights go out, he stirs and crawls slowly towards his mate. Demeter hurries over to him, and they share arguably the most tender and poignant moment in the entire musical. Happy tears. Definitely happy tears.
I cry every time. The way they look at each other, even though you can really only see their silhouettes, speaks so clearly of true love...