Running since July 2016 Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's worldwide musical phenomenon, based on T. S. Eliot's book, makes its triumphant return to Broadway.
From the producers: Based on T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the show is set amongst a larger-than-life junkyard playground and is alive with feline characters, who've come out to play on one special night of the year - the night of the "Jellicle Ball." One by one they tell their stories for the amusement their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to "The Heaviside Layer" and be reborn into a whole new life.
Following its 1982 New York premiere, "Cats" became an international phenomenon and has continuously toured the U.S. for 30 years. The revival will be an entirely new production based on the 2014 London Palladium revival. Trevor Nunn, who staged the original London and Broadway productions, directs.
Casting Notes: Leona Lewis played her final performance as Grizabella on 10/9. Mamie Parris ("School of Rock") assumes the role beginning 10/17.
"Cats" opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1982, where it ran for 7,485 performances before closing in September 2000. It held the title of Broadway's longest-running musical, but was surpassed by Lloyd Webber's other hit, "The Phantom of the Opera," which currently holds the title. "Cats" won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Lighting and Best Costumes.
This is fundamentally the "Cats" you knew and loved...or it's the "Cats" you knew and snickered at when you first encountered it. With its thread of a plot...Lloyd Webber's dexterity as a composer has never been more vividly showcased as it is [here]. The cast is largely excellent.
It is still a goofy, overly cheesy dose of feline gruel. It's not been revamped or re-thought, just taken out of mothballs. It's really not a cohesive show, more a revue with a collection of bombastic rock songs connected by mangy fur. The cast is uneven...a tedious, clawing mess.