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.
The Broadway production of Cats closed December 30, 2017. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
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.
"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.
It's kitschy and fun, sometimes quite touching, and marvelously well done. It'll likely be very nostalgic for anyone who saw the show before, and a treat for people who haven't...and don't go expecting a profound theatrical experience. "Cats" is a one-of-a-kind entertainment.
Director Trevor Nunn has taken the unsurprising - and uninspiring - if-it-ain't-broke approach. If you know "Cats," this is essentially the "Cats" you know and either love or hate. If you don't know "Cats," prepare for a trip back to the '80s.
New York Magazine
Lewis brings to [her] underwritten role only a few unsubtle top notes. No greater ambition seems to have animated the revival as a whole. Though some elements remain impressive - the choral arrangements and massed singing are excellent - others have suffered from what can only be chintziness.
New York Post
Lively yet enervating...plotless, repetitive, nonsensical, the '80s relic quickly turns tiresome enough to make you wish for a catnap. So much energy spent, so little impact. At least the talented litter of hoofers and belters offers some saving grace.
Overblown...a big, glitzy, repetitious song-and-dance cycle that hardly has an idea in its fuzzy head that goes beyond precious gibberish or that touches the genuine mysteries of felines. Director Nunn has put together a first-rate cast...best of all is the refreshed choreography.
Time Out New York
An attenuated high-concept revue that grows tedious by its second act...rather than lamely re-creating the original, why not orchestrate the score for acoustic instruments, redo the costumes and dances, and find fresh drama underneath the tacky, dated pageantry? Instead we get a taxidermied pet.
Fabulous...Webber has smartly mined the natural music in Eliot's jaunty rhythms and clever rhyme schemes. [There is] no radical surgery on [the] memorable choreography, other than freshening it up a bit. The dancers are in perfectly splendid form.