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20-12-2021 · Cats is a sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.It tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make the "Jellicle choice" by deciding which cat will ascend to the Heaviside layer and come back to a new life. The musical includes the well-known song "Memory" as ...
1981 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Logo by Really Useful Group
MusicAndrew Lloyd WebberLyricsT. S. Eliot Trevor Nunn Richard StilgoeBasisOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. EliotPremiere11 May 1981; 40 years ago (1981-05-11): New London Theatre, London, England, U.K.ProductionsMultiple productions worldwideAwards
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
Tony Award for Best Original Score
Cats is a sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. It tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make the "Jellicle choice" by deciding which cat will ascend to the Heaviside layer and come back to a new life. The musical includes the well-known song "Memory" as sung by Grizabella. As of 2019, Cats remains the fourth-longest-running Broadway show and the sixth-longest-running West End show.
Lloyd Webber began setting Eliot's poems to music in 1977, and the compositions were first presented as a song cycle in 1980. Producer Cameron Mackintosh then recruited director Trevor Nunn and choreographer Gillian Lynne to turn the songs into a complete musical. Cats opened to positive reviews at the New London Theatre in the West End in 1981 and then to mixed reviews at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in 1982. It won numerous awards including Best Musical at both the Laurence Olivier and Tony Awards. Despite its unusual premise that deterred investors initially, the musical turned out to be an unprecedented commercial success, with a worldwide gross of US.5 billion by 2012.
The London production ran for 21 years and 8,949 performances, while the Broadway production ran for 18 years and 7,485 performances, making Cats the longest-running musical in both theatre districts for a number of years. Cats has since been revived in the West End twice and on Broadway once. It has also been translated into multiple languages and performed around the world many times. Long-running foreign productions include a 15-year run at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg that played over 6,100 performances, as well as an ongoing run in a purpose-built theatre in Japan that has played over 10,000 performances since it opened in 1983.
Cats started the megamusical phenomenon, establishing a global market for musical theatre and directing the industry's focus to big-budget blockbusters, as well as family- and tourist-friendly shows. The musical's profound but polarising influence also reshaped the aesthetic, technology, and marketing of the medium. Cats was adapted into a direct-to-video film in 1998, and a feature film directed by Tom Hooper in 2019.
Cats is based on T. S. Eliot's 1939 poetry book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the songs in the musical consisting of Eliot's verse set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical is unusual in its construction; along with Eliot's poems, music and dance are the main focus of the show at the expense of a traditional narrative structure.Musicologists William Everett and Paul Laird described Cats as "combining elements of the revue and concept musical". The plot centres on a tribe of cats called the Jellicles, as they come together at the annual Jellicle Ball to decide which one of them will ascend to the Heaviside layer (their version of heaven) and be reborn into a new life. The bulk of the musical consists of the different contenders being introduced, either by themselves or by other cats.
T. S. Eliot's poetry provided most of the lyrics for Cats
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats is a collection of light poetry about cats that Eliot had originally written for his godchildren in the 1930s. Due to the rhythmic nature of Eliot's work, there had been previous attempts before Cats at setting his poems to music, though none of these attempts had been met with much critical or commercial success. John Snelson, a musicologist, wrote of the poems:
[They] provided excellent material for musicalization, as Eliot's style in this collection is reminiscent of a popular lyricist. The poet uses repeated catch phrases, strong hooks, steady rhythm and outrageous, attention-grabbing, witty rhymes, which are the ingredients of every well-crafted popular lyric.
Most of the lyrics in Cats were taken from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats with very minor alterations. Supplementary verses from unpublished poems by Eliot were adapted for "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" and "The Journey to the Heaviside Layer", while the song "The Moments of Happiness" was taken from a passage in Eliot's The Dry Salvages. Cats director Trevor Nunn and lyricist Richard Stilgoe provided the remaining lyrics, namely for the opening number "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" and the most famous song from the musical "Memory". The former was written by Nunn and Stilgoe and was modelled after an unpublished poem by Eliot titled "Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats", while the latter was written by Nunn based on another Eliot poem titled "Rhapsody on a Windy Night".
Lloyd Webber began composing the songs in late 1977 as a songwriting exercise, partly because Eliot's book had been a childhood favourite and partly to see if he could write music to predetermined lyrics. The compositions were performed privately for friends but Lloyd Webber had no further intentions for them at the time. After his song cycle Tell Me on a Sunday was televised by the BBC in early 1980, Lloyd Webber began to consider using his musicalization of Eliot's poems in the same vein for a televised concert anthology. He approached producer Cameron Mackintosh to explore possible avenues for the songs.
Practical Cats, as the show was then called, was first presented as a song cycle at the 1980 summer Sydmonton Festival. The concert was performed by Gemma Craven, Gary Bond and Paul Nicholas. Eliot's widow and literary executor, Valerie, was in attendance and brought along various unpublished cat-themed poems by Eliot. One of these was "Grizabella the Glamour Cat" which, although rejected from Eliot's book for being "too sad for children", gave Lloyd Webber the idea for a full-blown musical. He explained:
The musical and dramatic images that this created for me made me feel that there was very much more to the project than I had realised. I immediately decided that I needed the support of another to encourage me to re-work my settings and to see if a dramatic whole could be woven from the delightful verse that I was now to be allowed to develop.
Lloyd Webber thus decided to turn Practical Cats into a musical, co-produced by Mackintosh and the Really Useful Group's Brian Brolly.
Shortly after the Sydmonton Festival, Lloyd Webber began setting the unpublished poems he had been given to music, a few of which were later added into the show. He also composed the overture and "The Jellicle Ball", incorporating analog synthesizers into these orchestrations to try to create a unique electronic soundscape. Meanwhile, Mackintosh recruited Nunn, the then artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), to direct Practical Cats. Nunn was an unusual choice as he was considered "too high-brow" for musical theatre, but Mackintosh felt that a "pedigree" director was needed to ensure Valerie Eliot's approval of the project. After much persuasion, Nunn came on board and was joined by his RSC colleagues, choreographer Gillian Lynne and set and costume designer John Napier. Nunn initially envisioned Practical Cats as a chamber piece for five actors and two pianos, which he felt would reflect "Eliot's charming, slightly offbeat, mildly satiric view of late-1930s London". However, he relented to Lloyd Webber's more ambitious vision for the musical. Nunn was also convinced that for the musical to have the wide commercial appeal that the producers desired, it could not remain as a series of isolated numbers but instead had to have a narrative through line. He was therefore tasked with piecing the self-contained poems together into a story. Nunn wrote about the significance "Grizabella the Glamour Cat" had on the construction of the narrative:
Here in eight lines Eliot was describing an intensely recognizable character with powerful human resonances, while introducing the themes of mortality, and the past, which occur repeatedly in the major poems. We decided that if Eliot had thought of being serious, touching, almost tragic in his presentation of a feline character, then we had to be doing a show which could contain that material, and the implications of it. Furthermore, we would have to achieve the sense of progression through themes more than incidents.
An event called the Jellicle Ball was referenced by Eliot in the poem "The Song of the Jellicles", while a cat version of heaven known as the Heaviside Layer was mentioned in one of his unpublished poems. Nunn expanded on these concepts by conceiving the Jellicle Ball as an annual ritual in which the cats vie to be chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer, thus giving the characters a reason to gather and sing about themselves in the musical. He also added the element of rebirth as a play on the idea that cats have nine lives.
One of Nunn's stipulations for agreeing to direct Practical Cats was that actress Judi Dench would be cast in the musical. Lloyd Webber was happy to oblige given her credentials and so Dench joined the company in the dual roles of Grizabella and Jennyanydots. Former Royal Ballet principal dancer Wayne Sleep was offered the part of Mr. Mistoffelees after Lloyd Webber and Mackintosh attended a performance by his dance troupe, one of the many dance showcases they saw in preparation for the musical. Casting for the other roles began in November 1980, with auditions held across the UK for dancers who could also sing and act. There was an initial disagreement over the casting of Nicholas as Rum Tum Tugger; Nunn had misgivings about the actor's easy-going attitude but eventually yielded to Lloyd Webber, Mackintosh and Lynne, all of whom were keen on Nicholas for the role. Sarah Brightman, who had already made a name for herself with the chart hit "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper", arranged a private audition and was cast in an as-then undecided role. By December, the full cast had been assembled.
Meanwhile, Mackintosh engaged the advertising agency Dewynters to design a poster for the musical. After much back-and-forth, the agency presented a minimalist poster consisting of a pair of yellow feline eyes (with dancing silhouettes for the pupils) set against a black backdrop. The producers and the creative team loved the design but felt that the title — Practical Cats — looked out of place when paired with the image of the cat's eyes. The musical's title was thus shortened to just Cats.
The musical was scheduled to open on 30 April 1981, with previews starting on 22 April. Shortly before tickets went on sale in mid-February, Nunn revealed to the alarmed producers that he was struggling to write the script for the musical. Despite still having no established book or score, rehearsals began on 9 March 1981 in a church hall in Chiswick, London.  The situation improved later that day when Lloyd Webber, Mackintosh and Nunn met with Richard Stilgoe, a musician known for his ability to improvise lyrics on the spot, in hopes that Stilgoe could write an opening song for the musical. By the next evening, Stilgoe had produced a draft for "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats". However, "Memory", an 11 o'clock number for Grizabella that Nunn insisted the show needed as its "emotional centre", still had no lyrics at this point. Lloyd Webber's former writing partner Tim Rice was brought in to write a lyric for the song, but his version was rejected by Nunn for being too depressing. The lyrics for "Memory" were not completed by Nunn until well into the previews.
The original 1981 London cast of Cats
Many of the ensemble characters were created by the original cast through extensive improvisation sessions held during the rehearsal process. Said Nunn: "[O]n day one of rehearsals what we had was 15 poems set to music and five weeks later we had a show with characters, relationships and stories running from beginning to end." The production faced a last minute mishap when Dench snapped her Achilles tendon during rehearsals for "The Old Gumbie Cat" and had to pull out one week before the first preview. Shortly after this, the original music director, Chris Walker, also had to leave the production for medical reasons and was replaced by the film conductor Harry Rabinowitz. Dench's understudy Myra Sands replaced her as Jennyanydots, while Elaine Paige agreed to take over the role of Grizabella. Opening night was pushed back to 11 May, but Mackintosh refused to postpone the previews as he wanted to dispel the industry rumours that the production was an impending debacle.
The development of Cats was also plagued by financial troubles. Mackintosh struggled to raise the £450,000 (US
.16 million) needed to stage the musical in the West End as major investors were sceptical of the show's premise and refused to back it. Lloyd Webber personally underwrote the musical and took out a second mortgage on his house for the down payment of the theatre. He later recalled that if Cats had been a commercial failure, it would have left him in financial ruin. The remaining capital was eventually raised by small investments procured from 220 individuals through newspaper advertisements. After the musical became a massive hit, the rate of return for these investors was estimated to have exceeded 3,500 per cent.
Act I – When Cats Are Maddened by the Midnight Dance
The Jellicle cats gather every year to make the "Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.
After the overture, a tribe of cats known as the Jellicles gather on stage and describe themselves and their purpose ("Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats"). The cats (who break the fourth wall throughout the show) then notice that they are being watched by a human audience, and proceed to explain how the different cats of the tribe are named ("The Naming of Cats"). This is followed by a ballet solo performed by Victoria to signal the beginning of the Jellicle Ball ("The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball"). At this moment, Munkustrap, the show's main narrator, explains that tonight the Jellicle patriarch Old Deuteronomy will make an appearance and choose one of the cats to be reborn into a new life on the Heaviside Layer.
The first contender Munkustrap introduces is Jennyanydots ("The Old Gumbie Cat"), a large tabby cat who lazes around all day, but come nighttime, she becomes active, teaching mice and cockroaches various activities to curb their naturally destructive habits. Just as Jennyanydots finishes her song, the music changes suddenly and Rum Tum Tugger makes his extravagant entrance in front of the tribe ("The Rum Tum Tugger"). He is very fickle and unappeasable, "for he will do as he do do, and there's no doing anything about it".
Then, as Rum Tum Tugger's song fades, a shabby old grey cat stumbles out wanting to be reconciled; it is Grizabella. All the cats back away from her in fear and disgust and explain her unfortunate state ("Grizabella: The Glamour Cat"). Grizabella leaves and the music changes to a cheerful upbeat number as Bustopher Jones, a fat cat in "a coat of fastidious black", is brought to the stage ("Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town"). Bustopher Jones is among the elite of the cats, and visits prestigious gentlemen's clubs. Suddenly, a loud crash startles the tribe and the cats run offstage in fright. Hushed giggling sounds signal the entrance of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, a pair of near-identical cats. They are mischievous petty burglars who enjoy causing trouble around their human neighbourhood ("Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer"). After they finish, they are caught off-guard and confronted by the rest of the cats.
Finally, the Jellicle patriarch, Old Deuteronomy, arrives before the tribe ("Old Deuteronomy"). He is a wise old cat who "has lived many lives" and is tasked with choosing which Jellicle will go to the Heaviside Layer every year. The cats put on a play for Old Deuteronomy ("The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles"), telling a story about two dog tribes clashing in the street and subsequently being scared away by the Great Rumpus Cat. A sombre moral from Old Deuteronomy is interrupted by a second loud crash, presumably from Macavity, which sends the alarmed cats scurrying. After a quick patrol for Macavity, Old Deuteronomy deems it a false alarm and summons the cats back as the main celebration begins ("The Jellicle Ball"), in which the cats sing and display their "Terpsichorean powers".
During the Ball, Grizabella reappears and is once again shunned by the other cats ("Grizabella: The Glamour Cat (Reprise)") while Old Deuteronomy looks on sadly. She tries to dance along, but her age and decrepit condition prevent her from doing so ("Memory (Prelude)").
Act II – Why Will the Summer Day Delay – When Will Time Flow Away?
After the Jellicle Ball, Old Deuteronomy opens Act II by contemplating "what happiness is", referring to Grizabella. However, Jemima (also known as Sillabub), the youngest of all Jellicles, is the only one that understands who he's singing of. Knowing it must be Grizabella, she reprises the melody of her cry. ("The Moments of Happiness"). Gus – short for Asparagus – shuffles forward as the next cat to be introduced ("Gus: The Theatre Cat"). He was once a famous actor but is now old and "suffers from palsy which makes his paws shake". He is accompanied by Jellylorum, his caretaker, who tells of his exploits. Gus then remembers how he once played the infamous pirate captain, Growltiger ("Growltiger's Last Stand"). Gus tells the story about the pirate captain's romance with Lady Griddlebone, and how Growltiger was overtaken by the Siamese and forced to walk the plank to his death.
Back in the present, after Gus exits, Skimbleshanks is seen sleeping in the corner ("Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat"). He is the cat who is unofficially in charge of the night train to Glasgow. Skimbleshanks is considered vital to the rail operations, as without him "the train can't start". Within his song, a whole steam train engine is assembled out of objects in the junkyard.
With a third crash and an evil laugh, the "most wanted" cat Macavity appears. He is the so-called "Napoleon of Crime" who always manages to evade the authorities. Macavity's henchmen capture Old Deuteronomy and take off with the patriarch in tow. As Munkustrap and his troop give chase, Demeter and Bombalurina explain what they know about Macavity ("Macavity: The Mystery Cat"). When they are finished, Macavity returns disguised as Old Deuteronomy, but his cover is blown by Demeter and he ends up in a fight with Munkustrap and Alonzo. Macavity holds his own for a time, but as the rest of the tribe begin to gang up and surround him, he shorts out the stage lights and escapes in the resulting confusion.
After the fight, Rum Tum Tugger calls upon the magician Mr. Mistoffelees for help ("Magical Mr. Mistoffelees"). Known as the "original conjuring cat", Mr. Mistoffelees can perform feats of magic that no other cat can do. He displays his magical powers in a dance solo and uses them to restore the lights and bring back Old Deuteronomy. Now, the "Jellicle choice" can be made.
Before Old Deuteronomy can make his decision, Grizabella returns to the junkyard and he allows her to address the gathering. Her faded appearance and lonely disposition have little effect on her song ("Memory"). With acceptance and encouragement from Jemima and Victoria, her appeal succeeds and she is chosen to be the one to go to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a new Jellicle life ("The Journey to the Heaviside Layer"). A tyre rises from the piles of junk, carrying Grizabella and Old Deuteronomy partway towards the sky; Grizabella then completes the journey on her own.[i] Finally, Old Deuteronomy gives an address to the audience, closing the show ("The Ad-dressing of Cats").
^The method in which Grizabella ascends to the Heaviside Layer varies depending on the production. In the original London and Broadway productions, she climbs up a stairway that emerges from the ceiling. In the 1990s and 2000s scaled-down touring productions, she ascends via a flying saucer-like vessel.
"Overture" – Orchestra
"Prologue: Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" – The Company
"The Naming of Cats" – Asparagus, Munkustrap, The Company
"Victoria's Dance/The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball" – Victoria, Quaxo, Munkustrap, Company
"The Old Gumbie Cat" – Jennyanydots, Munkustrap, Bombalurina, Jellylorum, Demeter, Company
"The Rum Tum Tugger" – Rum Tum Tugger, Quaxo, Bombalurina, Company
"Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" – Grizabella, Demeter, Bombalurina, Company
"Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town" – Bustopher Jones, Jennyanydots, Bombalurina, Jellylorum, Company
"Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" – Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer, Company
"Old Deuteronomy" – Munkustrap, Rum Tum Tugger, Old Deuteronomy, Company
"The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles"† – Munkustrap, Rumpus Cat and Company
"The Jellicle Ball"‡ – The Company
"Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" (reprise) – Jellylorum and Jemima
"Memory (Prelude)" – Grizabella
"The Moments of Happiness" – Old Deuteronomy, Jemima, Company
"Gus: The Theatre Cat" – Asparagus, Jellylorum
"Growltiger's Last Stand" (including "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw" or Italian Aria)† – Growltiger, Griddlebone, Genghis, The Crew, Company
"Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat" – Skimbleshanks and Company
"Macavity: The Mystery Cat" – Demeter, Bombalurina, Girls
"Mr. Mistoffelees" – Mr. Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, and Company
"Memory" – Grizabella, Jemima
"The Journey to the Heaviside Layer" – The Company
"The Ad-Dressing of Cats" – Old Deuteronomy and Company
†"Growltiger's Last Stand" has been dropped from US and UK productions since 2016, with "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles" moving to Act II to replace it.
‡Also credited as "Song of the Jellicles and the Jellicle Ball".
Based on the definitive 16-piece licensed version.
Cats is an ensemble show with a large supporting cast and no leads.
From left to right: Old Deuteronomy, Jemima, Grizabella and Victoria during an event in Germany, 2011.
Characters who are featured singers and/or dancers:
Asparagus (Gus) a.k.a. the Theatre Cat – A frail elderly cat who used to be a famous stage actor.
Bombalurina – A flirty and confident red queen; she is best friends with Demeter and the two share an intense hatred for Macavity.
Bustopher Jones a.k.a. the Cat About Town – A fat upper-class cat with a "fastidious black coat and white spats". Respected by all, he is a man of leisure who frequents gentlemen's club for their fine dining. In most productions, the actor playing Gus also plays Bustopher, though in early productions the part was handled by the actor playing Old Deuteronomy.
Demeter – A troubled and skittish queen; she is best friends with Bombalurina and the two share an intense hatred for Macavity.
Grizabella – A former Glamour Cat, ostracised by the Jellicles, who has lost her sparkle and now only wants to be accepted.
Jellylorum – A motherly caretaker who watches out for the kittens and looks after Gus.
Jemima/Sillabub – The youngest kitten. Idealistic and jovial, she is sympathetic to Grizabella's plight.
Jennyanydots a.k.a. the Old Gumbie Cat – She sits around all day and is seemingly very lazy, but at night, she becomes very active as she rules the mice and cockroaches, forcing them to undertake helpful functions and creative projects to curb their naturally destructive habits.
Macavity a.k.a. the Mystery Cat – A notorious criminal known as the "Napoleon of Crime". Usually played by the actor playing Admetus/Plato.
Mr. Mistoffelees – A young black-and-white tuxedo tom learning to control his magical powers. He is a featured dancer, performing his signature "Conjuring Turn" (twenty-four consecutive fouettés en tournant) during his number. Mistoffelees' chorus identity is sometimes known as Quaxo.
Mungojerrie – A mischievous troublemaker, he is one-half of a notorious duo of cat-burglars along with Rumpleteazer.
Munkustrap – A grey tabby tomcat who is the storyteller and protector of the Jellicle tribe. He is Old Deuteronomy's second-in-command and the show's main narrator.
Old Deuteronomy – The wise and benevolent elderly Jellicle leader who is beloved by his tribe.
Rumpleteazer – A mischievous troublemaker, she is one half of a notorious duo of cat-burglars along with Mungojerrie.
Rum Tum Tugger – A flashy and unappeasable cat who loves to be the centre of attention.
Skimbleshanks a.k.a. the Railway Cat – An upbeat and active orange tabby cat, who lives on the mail trains and acts as an unofficial chaperone to such an extent he is considered rather indispensable to the train and station employees.
Victoria – A demure and graceful white kitten. She is a featured dancer, opening with a ballet solo after "The Naming of the Cats" and is the first character to touch Grizabella.
Other characters who have appeared in multiple notable productions include:
Admetus/Plato – The chorus identity of Macavity. He is a teenage ginger-and-white young tom, and is typically paired with Victoria in a pas de deux during the Jellicle Ball.
Alonzo – A black-and-white tom sometimes considered second in command to Munkustrap. He is vain, insecure and full of bravado.
Bill Bailey/Tumblebrutus – A playful tom kitten, often performing acrobatics as well as being a strong dancer. His costume consists of brown patches (including a brown eye patch) on a white base.
Carbucketty/Pouncival – A playful and acrobatic brown-and-white tom kitten.
Cassandra – An elegant and aloof brown pointed queen.
Coricopat and Tantomile – Mysterious twin brother and sister with psychic abilities.
Electra – A reserved and solemn tortoiseshell kitten. Her costume is brown, red and black.
Etcetera – An exuberant and immature tabby kitten. Her costume is white, black and brown.
Griddlebone – Growltiger's lover in "Growltiger's Last Stand", in which she sings "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw" or the mock Italian aria "In Una Tepida Notte" (depending on production). Usually played by the actress playing Jellylorum.
Growltiger – A theatrical character Gus recalls playing in his youth, and who appears in Gus' memory during "Growltiger's Last Stand". In some productions he is portrayed as a vicious pirate; in others, he is more comical. Usually played by the actor playing Gus.
Rumpus Cat – A spiky-haired cat with glowing red eyes, seen as a sort of superhero figure in "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles" despite his ineptness. Usually played by one of the male ensemble characters in the play within the musical.
Original London cast 1981
Original Broadway cast 1982
First London Revival cast 2014
Second London Revival cast 2015
Broadway revival cast 2016
Héctor Jaime Mercado
Paul F. Monaghan
Emma Lee Clark
Christine Cornish Smith
Paul F. Monaghan
Corey John Snide
Leah Sue Morland
Herman W. Sebek
Susan Jane Tanner
Melissa Madden Gray
Paul F. Monaghan
Susan Jane Tanner
Susan Jane Tanner
Sara Jean Ford
Mark John Richardson[i]
Andy Huntington Jones
Quentin Earl Darrington[ii]
Rum Tum Tugger
Phyllida Crowley Smith
Hannah Kenna Thomas
^ abcAlso credited as "Quaxo" (chorus cat)
^Also credited as "Victor" (chorus cat)
^Also credited as "Admetus/Cover"
Additional film cast
1998 film: Femi Taylor as Exotica; Tony Timberlake as Asparagus (chorus cat)
2019 film: Les Twins as Socrates and Plato
Notable replacements from the musical's West End and Broadway runs:
Admetus/Macavity: Richard Armitage (1994–1995)
Alonzo: Warren Carlyle (1992), Steven Houghton (1993), Jason Gardiner (1997), Chris Jarvis (2001–2002)
Asparagus/Growltiger: Paul Bentley (1988), Mark Wynter (1990–1992), Peter Polycarpou (2001–2002)
Bill Bailey: Michael Sundin (1982)
Bombalurina: Femi Taylor (1984–1985), Janie Dee (1990), Donna King (1992), Heather Douglas (1999)
Coricopat: Danny John-Jules (1983)
Demeter: Erin Lordan (1985), Louise Fribo (1994–1995)
Jemima: Ruthie Henshall (1987–1989), Louise Fribo (1996), Veerle Casteleyn (1998–1999)
Jennyanydots: Ann Emery (1983–1986)
Mistoffelees: Gen Horiuchi (1998), Louie Spence (1999),Jacob Brent (2001)
Munkustrap: David Burt (1982), Gary Martin (1987–1990), Steven Houghton (1994)
Old Deuteronomy: John Turner (1983–1985), John Rawnsley (1995–1997), Dave Willetts (2001), Junix Inocian (2001–2002)
Rum Tum Tugger: John Partridge (1995, 2001–2002),Tommie Earl Jenkins (1997–1998)
Rumpleteazer: Anna-Jane Casey (1988–1990), Jo Gibb (1996–1997)
Skimbleshanks: Neil Fitzwiliam (1984–1985)
Victoria: Phyllida Crowley Smith (1992–1993)
Alonzo: Scott Wise (1984)
Bustopher Jones/Asparagus/Growltiger: Tim Jerome (1984–1986), Gregg Edelman (1986)
Cassandra: Charlotte d'Amboise (1984–1985)
Demeter: Lena Hall (1999–2000)
Grizabella: Laurie Beechman (1984–1988, 1997), Loni Ackerman (1988–1991), Lillias White (1991–1992), Liz Callaway (1993–1999), Linda Balgord (1999–2000)
Jennyanydots: Sharon Wheatley (1999–2000)
Mistoffelees: Gen Horiuchi (1991–1993, 1995–1996), Jacob Brent (1996–1999), Christopher Gattelli (1999)
Munkustrap: Rob Marshall (1987), Bryan Batt (1991–1992), Michael Gruber (1996–1997, 1999), Jeffry Denman (1999–2000)
Plato/Macavity/Rumpus Cat: Scott Wise (1983)
Pouncival: Robert Montano (1985–1987), Christopher Gattelli (1996–1998, 1999–2000)
Rum Tum Tugger: David Hibbard (1993–1996, 1997–1999), Stephen Bienskie (1999–2000)
Rumpleteazer: Jennifer Cody (1994)
Tumblebrutus: Randy Bettis (1990–1991, 1996–1998)
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Cats is completely told through music with no dialogue in between the songs, although there are occasions when the music accompanies spoken verse. Lloyd Webber's compositions employ an eclectic range of musical styles so as to magnify the characters' contrasting personalities. For example, the rebellious Rum Tum Tugger is introduced with a rock song ("The Rum Tum Tugger"); the fallen Grizabella is accompanied by a dramatic operatic aria ("Grizabella: The Glamour Cat"); Old Deuteronomy makes his grand entrance to a lullaby-turned-anthem ("Old Deuteronomy"); and Gus' nostalgia for the past is reflected through an old-fashioned music hall number ("Gus: The Theatre Cat"). Many of the songs are pastiches of their respective genres, which Snelson attributes to the show's origins as a song cycle:
The original concept of a set of contrasting numbers, without a dramatic narrative, meant that each song needed to establish some sort of musical characterization independent of the others and develop a quick rapport with the audience. Such a rapid familiarity and identification of purpose can be achieved through pastiche. But it was only a musical starting point, for the songs in Cats move beyond the straightforward "Elvis" pastiche of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; they are less pointed, more the free workings within a range of chosen styles than direct copies of a specific performer or number. The audience responds to the musical differences, given an initial security provided by the familiarity of recognizable, underlying stylistic generalities.
Lloyd Webber also employs various techniques to help connect the pieces. Namely, the score relies heavily on recurring motifs as well as the use of preludes and reprises. For instance, melodic fragments of "Memory" are sung by Grizabella and Jemima at several points in the show before the song is sung in full, serving to characterise Grizabella and foreshadow her final number. Similarly, Lloyd Webber introduces a fugue in the overture, and variations of this theme are then repeated throughout the musical until it is finally resolved as Grizabella ascends to the Heaviside Layer.
The musical also features an unusual amount of "group-description" numbers. According to musicologist Jessica Sternfeld, such numbers are usually relegated to the prologue and nothing more, as seen in "Another Op'nin', Another Show" from Kiss Me, Kate and "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof. Cats on the other hand features four Jellicle-defining songs: "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats", "The Naming of Cats", "The Jellicle Ball" and "The Ad-Dressing of Cats". These numbers allow the cats to celebrate their tribe and species as a whole, in between the ones that celebrate individual members.
Regarded as "one of the most challenging shows to dance in musical theatre history", dance plays a major role in Cats as the original creative team had specifically set out to create "England's first dance musical". Before Cats, the industry-wide belief was that British dancers were inferior to their Broadway counterparts. The risky hiring of a British choreographer, Lynne, for a British dance musical was described by one historian as "a vivid and marvellous gesture of transatlantic defiance". Making Lynne's job more challenging was the fact that the music in Cats is unceasing and the majority of the cast remains on-stage throughout nearly the entire show.
Lynne choreographed the original London production with a dance crew consisting of her assistant Lindsay Dolan, the dance captain Jo-Anne Robinson, and cast members Finola Hughes and John Thornton. The resulting choreography blends ballet, modern dance, jazz and tap, interspersed with acrobatic displays. Lynne also trained the cast to evoke the movement, physicality and behaviour of actual cats. These feline traits were incorporated into the movement and choreography so as to create an "anthropomorphic illusion". Lynne considered the 13-minute "Jellicle Ball" dance to be the crux of the show, noting that in order to work as a dance-driven musical, Cats "had to succeed there or die". She recalled the difficulty she faced in persuading Lloyd Webber to add the extended dance break, culminating in her and her dance crew having to dance all the parts in the "Jellicle Ball" to convince him.
The original staging of Cats at the New London Theatre was considered revolutionary and "one of the first truly immersive theatrical experiences". Instead of a conventional proscenium, the theatre was quasi-in-the-round with a central revolving stage. Nunn and Napier had sought to create "an environment rather than a set", and around 0,000 was spent remodelling the New London in preparation for the show. This included mounting sections of the stalls onto the theatre's 60 ft (18 m) revolve such that the audience moved along with the stage. When the show was brought to Broadway, the Winter Garden Theatre was given a similar million makeover; its proscenium stage was converted into a thrust, and a part of its roof was torn through to allow for the effects of Grizabella's ascension to the Heaviside Layer.
Nunn was also adamant that the orchestra for Cats be hidden backstage — out of the audience's view — so as not to break the immersion. Adding to the experience, the show usually includes a lot of audience interaction, such as during the overture when the cast don flashing "green eyes" as they make their way through the audience in the darkened theatre. In the original Broadway production, catwalks were built to connect the stage to the boxes and balcony so as to give the cast access to the entire auditorium during the show.
Set and costume design
Napier began designing the set in November 1980, wanting "a place where cats might congregate together, which also included maximum room for dancing". The set of Cats consists of a junkyard filled with oversized props to give the illusion that the cast are the size of actual cats; it remains the same throughout the show without any scene changes. Over 2,500 of these scaled-up props were used to fill the whole auditorium in the original Broadway production.
Napier also designed the costumes, combining cat and human features based on "hints" given in Eliot's poems, while ensuring that they did not impede the dancers' movements. The costumes generally consist of a unitard, a wig that is fashioned to suggest the presence of feline ears, patches resembling body fur, and arm and leg warmers to give the performers' hands and feet a more paw-like appearance. As with the contrasting music and dance styles, the costumes and make-up are used to bring out each character's distinct personality. For example, the costume for the flirtatious Bombalurina is designed to accentuate her sensuality, while the markings on the costume for Jemima — the youngest of the tribe — resemble crayon scribbles. Every character's design motif is custom-painted by hand onto a plain unitard to line up with their performer's individual body. In order to reproduce the "hand-drawn aesthetic" of Napier's original design sketches, costume painters in the original Broadway production used squeeze bottles to apply the paint. Due to the amount of dancing in Cats, most of the costumes did not last longer than a few months.
The plot of Cats revolves around a tribe of cats vying to go to the "Heaviside Layer", which is used as a metaphor for rebirth. The concept and the corresponding song "Journey to the Heaviside Layer" are based on an unpublished poem fragment by T. S. Eliot.
(The physical Kennelly–Heaviside layer is a layer of ionized gas in the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere that reflects some radio waves.)
Cats has been translated into over 15 languages and produced professionally in more than 30 countries.
Cats at the New London Theatre (1999)
Cats premiered in the West End at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981. The musical was produced by Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, with direction by Nunn, choreography by Lynne (who also served as the associate director), set and costume design by Napier, lighting design by David Hersey, sound design by Abe Jacob and music direction by Harry Rabinowitz. It played a total of 8,949 performances before closing on its 21st anniversary, 11 May 2002. The final performance was broadcast live on a large outdoor screen in Covent Garden for fans who could not acquire a ticket.Cats held the record as London's longest-running musical from 1989, when it surpassed Jesus Christ Superstar, until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by Les Misérables.
The musical returned to the West End in 2014 for a planned 12-week limited run at the London Palladium. Beginning on 6 December, the revival starred Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella, and featured the original creative team, with direction from Nunn, choreography by Lynne and design by Napier. Lloyd Webber was also involved and rewrote "The Rum Tum Tugger" for the revival. The run was later extended through April 2015 and an additional 100,000 tickets were released, with Kerry Ellis replacing Scherzinger as Grizabella. The musical returned once again to the London Palladium for another limited run lasting from 23 October 2015 to 2 January 2016, starring Beverley Knight as Grizabella.
Broadway revival of Cats at the Neil Simon Theatre
Cats debuted on Broadway on 7 October 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre with a record-breaking .2 million in ticket pre-sales. The musical was co-produced by the original London production team, along with David Geffen and The Shubert Organization. Most of the original creative team remained, with Martin Levan replacing Jacob as the sound designer and Stanley Lebowsky replacing Rabinowitz as music director. It was the most expensive Broadway show ever mounted at the time with a production cost of .5 million, though it recouped its investment in less than 10 months. On 19 June 1997, Cats overtook A Chorus Line to become the longest-running show in Broadway history with 6,138 performances. At the time, the musical was found to have had an economic impact of .12 billion on New York City and had generated the most theatrical jobs of any single entity in Broadway history. In early 2000, the show's closing was scheduled for June but it was subsequently pushed back after a resulting surge in ticket sales. The show closed on 10 September 2000 after a total of 15 previews and 7,485 performances. One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed in the Broadway production for its entire 18-year run. Its Broadway-run record was surpassed on 9 January 2006 by The Phantom of the Opera, and Cats remains Broadway's fourth-longest-running show of all time. Overall, the original Broadway production grossed approximately 8 million in ticket sales.
Encouraged by the reception to the first West End revival, producers began looking to bring Cats back to Broadway in early 2015. The Broadway revival opened on 31 July 2016 at the Neil Simon Theatre. It featured new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, with Nunn and Napier from the original creative team returning to direct and design respectively. Scherzinger, who played Grizabella in the 2014 West End revival, had originally agreed to reprise the role on Broadway but later withdrew.Leona Lewis was cast as Grizabella instead, and was succeeded by Mamie Parris four months later in October 2016. The Broadway revival closed on 30 December 2017 after 16 previews and 593 performances.
Following its Broadway debut, Cats has been staged extensively across North America. The first US national tour, Cats National I, launched at the Shubert Theatre in Boston in December 1983 and closed in November 1987. The opening night cast included Laurie Beechman playing Grizabella and Charlotte d'Amboise playing Cassandra; later replacements included Victoria Clark and Jessica Molaskey both playing Jellylorum/Griddlebone. This production was a "slow tour" that had lengthy engagements lasting for several months in each of the nine cities it visited. Cats National II, a separate sit-down production at the Los Angeles Shubert Theatre, ran from January 1985 to November 1986, and starred Kim Criswell and George de la Peña in the roles of Grizabella and Mistoffelees respectively. A third US touring company, Cats National III, ran for two years from September 1986 to September 1988. Notable performers in the third tour included Jonathan Cerullo as Skimbleshanks (1986) and Bill Nolte as Old Deuteronomy (1987).
The fourth national company, Cats National IV, toured the United States for 13 years from March 1987 to December 1999. It overtook the first national tour of Oklahoma! in November 1997 to become the longest-running tour in theatre history, and played its 5,000th performance in July 1999. Notable performers in the fourth tour included Amelia Marshall as Sillabub (1988), Jan Horvath as Grizabella (1990), Bryan Batt as Munkustrap (1991–1992), Jennifer Cody as Rumpleteazer (1992), David Hibbard as Rum Tum Tugger (1992–1993), Natalie Toro as Grizabella (1992, 1997), Christopher Gattelli as Mistoffelees (1993), John Treacy Egan as Old Deuteronomy (1993–1994), J. Robert Spencer as Rum Tum Tugger (1995), Bart Shatto as Bustopher Jones/Gus/Growltiger (1996), Linda Balgord as Grizabella (1998), Andy Karl as Rum Tum Tugger (1998), and Lena Hall as Demeter (1998). By June 1997, the North American touring companies had grossed over 0 million.
After the show's closure on Broadway in 2000, Troika Entertainment obtained the touring rights for Cats and launched the show's first non-Equity national company. After a try-out at Harrah's Atlantic City in July 2001, the production toured North America for 11 years from August 2001 to June 2012. Performers in the non-Equity tour included Julie Garnyé as Jennyanydots (2001) and Dee Roscioli as Grizabella (2002). In January 2019, a new North American Equity tour based on the 2016 Broadway revival opened at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island, and is scheduled to run through June 2020.
Meanwhile, the first Canadian national production premiered in March 1985 at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres in Toronto, Ontario. It moved to Montreal two years later and then toured other parts of Canada. By the time the production closed in August 1989, it had become the most successful Canadian stage production of all time with a box office of million from nearly 2 million tickets. A second All-Canadian company began at Toronto's former Panasonic Theatre in May 2013 and ran for four months & 128 performances, 28 years after the original production.
The musical first played in Mexico from April 1991 to November 1992; the Spanish-language production performed over 400 shows and starred María del Sol as Grizabella,Manuel Landeta as Munkustrap,Susana Zabaleta as Jellylorum, Maru Dueñas as Sillabub and Ariel López Padilla as Macavity. A revival premiered at the Teatro San Rafael in May 2013, with an opening night cast that included Filippa Giordano as Grizabella, Landeta, and Maru Dueñas. After a total of 350 performances, the show closed at the Teatro San Rafael in June 2014, and then toured over 36 cities in Mexico until December 2014. Other performers who later joined the production included Lisset,Rocío Banquells,Lila Deneken and Myriam Montemayor Cruz, all of whom played Grizabella. Another Mexican revival was launched at the Coyoacán Centennial Theater in October 2018, with Yuri as Grizabella and Landeta as Old Deuteronomy. The revival marked its 200th performance in May 2019.
The first UK and Ireland tour opened in May 1989 at the Opera House Theatre in Blackpool. The cast for this tour included Marti Webb as Grizabella, Rosemarie Ford as Bombalurina and John Partridge as Alonzo. Following a six-month engagement in Blackpool that broke the theatre's box office record and was seen by around 450,000 people, the production moved to the Edinburgh Playhouse for three months, before closing in May 1990 after another two months at the Point Theatre in Dublin. A second national tour launched in June 1993 at the Bristol Hippodrome, featuring Rosemarie Ford as Grizabella, Robin Cousins as Munkustrap, Simon Rice as Mistoffelees and Tony Monopoly as Old Deuteronomy. The tour closed at the Manchester Opera House in December 1995.
Following the closure of the original West End production, a nationwide tour embarked in 2003 with Chrissie Hammond starring as Grizabella, until Dianne Pilkington took over the role in 2006. Hammond reprised the role on tour again from 2007 to 2008.
A UK and Ireland tour of Cats launched in February 2013 at the Edinburgh Playhouse with Joanna Ampil as Grizabella.Susan McFadden took over the role from Ampil during the tour's three-week stop in Dublin. The production ran through 2014 before transferring to the West End. In between its limited West End runs, the musical returned to the Blackpool Opera House Theatre in 2015, this time starring Jane McDonald as Grizabella. After the second West End revival, the production toured the UK in 2016 with Anita Louise Combe as Grizabella and Marcquelle Ward as Rum Tum Tugger.
The CATS Theatre in Shinagawa, Tokyo (2008)
The Japanese-language production of Cats by the Shiki Theatre Company has been playing continuously since it premiered in Shinjuku, Tokyo, in November 1983. This production is a "slow tour" with engagements lasting for several years in each of the nine cities it has visited. An initial investment of ¥800 million (US.4 million in 1983) was required to bring Cats to Japan, including ¥300 million for the construction of a purpose-built theatre tailored to the needs of the musical. This was a big financial risk for the Shiki Theatre Company as it meant that a long run was needed to turn a profit; however, stage productions in Japan ran on a monthly basis at the time and open-ended runs were unheard of. The resulting success of this production led to what the local media termed a "musical boom" in the 1980s, with other Broadway musicals quickly following suit and opening in Japan.
As of 2019[update], the show is performed at the purpose-built CATS Theatre in Tokyo. The production has played over 10,000 performances to over 10 million audience members.
Similar to the original London staging, the set of the 1,200-capacity CATS Theatre is built on a revolving stage floor such that during the overture, the stage and sections of the stalls revolve approximately 180 degrees into place. In 1998, the Japanese production underwent major revisions to the choreography, staging and costume designs. Following further revisions in 2018, the current incarnation features 27 named cats, including both Jemima and Sillabub (who have evolved into two separate characters), and an original character named Gilbert.
There have been numerous notable performers in the Japanese production, including Shintarō Sonooka as Munkustrap (original 1983 cast),Kanji Ishimaru as Skimbleshanks (1992),Masachika Ichimura, and Mayo Kawasaki. Yoshiko Hattori (ja:服部良子) holds the production's record for the longest-appearing cast member; she played Jennyanydots in the original 1983 cast and remained in the role for 20 years with a final performance tally of 4,251.
Under the direction of Peter Weck, the first German-language production of Cats opened in September 1983 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria. In 1988, the show transferred to the newly renovated Ronacher Theatre where it ran for another two years before closing on its seventh anniversary in September 1990. The Vienna production played a total of 2,040 performances to more than 2.3 million audience members.
The original Viennese cast included Ute Lemper who played Bombalurina, Steve Barton who played Munkustrap, Robert Montano who played Pouncival, and Angelika Milster who played Grizabella.Pia Douwes was also a member of the cast from 1987 to 1989, covering several different characters including Grizabella. The Vienna production also performed limited runs at the Komische Oper Berlin in East Germany in 1987, and at the Moscow Operetta Theatre in the Soviet Union in 1988.
An ongoing revival by the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien production company opened at the Ronacher Theatre in September 2019.
The Operettenhaus where Cats played for 15 years
Influenced by the show's success in Vienna, a German production by Stella Entertainment premiered in April 1986 at the newly renovated Operettenhaus in Hamburg. It closed in January 2001 after 15 years, having played over 6,100 performances to 6.2 million audiences.Cats was the first stage production in the country to be mounted without public funding and was also the first to run for multiple years; its success established the medium as a profitable venture in Germany. The musical was also a huge boost for tourism in Hamburg, particularly the subdivision of St. Pauli where it accounted for 30% of all tourists. The number of overnight visitors to the city increased by over one million per year within the first five years of the show's premiere.
Cats redefined musical theatre in the German-speaking part of the world, turning an industry which consisted of repertory theatre at the time towards privately funded commercial productions. The success of the Vienna and Hamburg productions sparked a "musical boom" in the region that saw numerous musicals being launched not just in Germany but also in Switzerland. It also led to a "construction boom" in Germany as new theatrical venues such as the Schmidt Theater were enacted all around the country. Germany has since grown to become the third largest musical market after the US and UK, with Hamburg as its "musical capital".
After Hamburg, the German production transferred to Stuttgart where it played from 2001 to 2002.Stage Entertainment took over the production mid-2002 and moved the show to Berlin (2002–2004) and later Düsseldorf (2004–2005), before touring other cities until 2006. Mehr-Entertainment launched a separate tour of Cats that ran from December 2010 to June 2013, performing in a travelling purpose-built tent theatre. Besides Germany, this company also made stops in cities in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria.
Beyond the UK, Vienna, and Germany, Cats is also produced frequently in the rest of Europe.
1980s and 1990s
The first non-English production of Cats premiered in March 1983 at the Madách Theatre in Budapest, Hungary, with direction by Tamás Szirtes and choreography by László Seregi. Since then, the Hungarian-language production has continued to be staged intermittently as part of the Madách Theatre's repertoire and, as of 2017, has been performed nearly 1,500 times.
November 1985 saw the premiere of a Norwegian-language production at Det Norske Teatret in Oslo. It closed in January 1987 and included performers such as Øivind Blunck, Brit Elisabeth Haagensli and Øystein Wiik.Jorma Uotinen directed and choreographed a Finnish production at the Helsinki City Theatre that ran for over two years from September 1986 to December 1988, and featured Monica Aspelund as Grizabella, Heikki Kinnunen as Gus, and Kristiina Elstelä as Jennyanydots/Griddlebone. A Swedish version of the musical opened in 1987 at the Chinateatern in Stockholm. The production was seen by 326,000 audiences before it transferred to the Scandinavium in Gothenburg two years later.
Meanwhile, the Carré Theatre in Amsterdam, Netherlands, staged the musical in 1987 (with Ruth Jacott as Grizabella), 1988 and from 1992 to 1993.Cats made its French debut at the Théâtre de Paris from February 1989 to April 1990, with an original cast that included Gilles Ramade as Old Deuteronomy. The show was also produced in Zürich at the ABB Musical Theatre from 1991 to 1993, while a production by Joop van den Ende and the Royal Ballet of Flanders was staged at the Stadsschouwburg Antwerpen in Belgium in 1996. An English/German-language "Eurotour" production also toured the region from May 1994 to December 1995.
The first non-replica production of Cats was staged at the Teatr Muzyczny Roma in Warsaw, Poland (2007).
The show was staged at the Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the 2002–2003 season. This Danish production was translated by Adam Price and was one of the largest theatrical productions ever mounted in the country at the time with 100 performers, musicians and stagehands. The first non-replica production of Cats was approved for a Polish production at the Teatr Muzyczny Roma in Warsaw. Set in an abandoned film studio instead of a junkyard, the Polish version opened in January 2004 and closed in 2010. The Gothenburg opera house staged a production with a Swedish-language script by Ingela Forsman; this version was reimagined to take place in an abandoned fairground and played from September 2006 to February 2007. Other productions were also staged at the Divadlo Milenium in Prague from 2004 to 2005, and a Norwegian revival at the Chat Noir in Oslo in 2009. The first Italian-language production began touring Italy in 2009.
The Dutch live entertainment company Stage Entertainment has been responsible for several European productions of Cats. The company produced the musical at the Coliseum Theatre in Madrid from December 2003 to January 2005, with a cast that included Víctor Ullate Roche as Mistoffelees. They then staged a Russian-language production at the Moscow Palace of Youth from 2005 to 2006, with a cast that included Ivan Ozhogin as Munkustrap. A Dutch production under the same company toured the Netherlands and Belgium from 2006 to 2007, featuring several performers in the role of Grizabella including Pia Douwes and Anita Meyer. A Paris revival by Stage Entertainment ran at the Théâtre Mogador from October 2015 to July 2016. This production was based on the 2014 London revival and also featured a new song written especially for the French show by Lloyd Webber.
English-language touring companies have also toured the European region extensively. International tours in the early to late 2000s included stops in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Greece, Portugal, Germany, and Italy. The 2013–2014 UK tour visited cities in Belgium, Greece, Italy, Monaco, and Portugal. Most recently, a UK production played in numerous European cities from 2016 to 2019, with tour stops in Switzerland, Croatia, Belgium, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These European tours have featured several notable performers in the role of Grizabella, including Pernilla Wahlgren (Sweden; 2003),Katarína Hasprová (Slovakia; 2016) and Jenna Lee-James (Netherlands; 2018–2019).
The first Australian production ran from July 1985 to August 1987 at the Theatre Royal in Sydney. The original cast included Debra Byrne as Grizabella, John Wood as Old Deuteronomy, Marina Prior as Jellylorum, Jeff Phillips as Rum Tum Tugger, David Atkins as Mistoffelees, and Anita Louise Combe as Sillabub. The Sydney production cost million to mount and grossed a record million. It was credited with revitalising the then-stagnant musical genre in Australia. After closing in Sydney, an additional
.8 million was spent transferring the production to Melbourne, including 5,000 to refurbish the old Her Majesty's Theatre. The Melbourne run played from October 1987 to December 1988, with an opening night cast that included Megan Williams as Grizabella, Wood as Old Deuteronomy, Phillips as Rum Tum Tugger, Linda Hartley-Clark as Demeter, Femi Taylor as Bombalurina, Rachael Beck as Rumpleteazer and Seán Martin Hingston as Plato/Macavity. From 1989 to 1990, the company toured the Festival Theatre in Adelaide,His Majesty's Theatre in Perth,Civic Theatre in Newcastle, Lyric Theatre in Brisbane, and the Aotea Centre in Auckland. This was followed by a second national tour from 1993 to 1996, during which Delia Hannah made her debut as Grizabella in 1994. A professional circus adaptation of Cats, titled Cats Run Away to the Circus, had a national tent tour from 1999 to 2001, with Hannah once again starring as Grizabella. Hannah reprised her role for another production that toured Australia and Asia in 2009 and 2010.
In July 2014, Australia's Harvest Rain Theatre Company staged the biggest production of Cats in the Southern Hemisphere with over 700 performers. Produced by Tim O'Connor, the production was performed at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Callum Mansfield directed and choreographed it, and its cast included Marina Prior as Grizabella and Steven Tandy as Bustopher Jones and Gus. From October 2015 to May 2016, a revival toured Australia with stops in Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. The revival featured singer-songwriter Delta Goodrem as Grizabella, before Delia Hannah took over the role during the Adelaide and Perth seasons.
The musical played in Auckland from 1989 to 1990, and for a limited run in 2015. A New Zealand national tour played across 16 cities in 2019, with a reimagined setting in a derelict Victorian theatre that was inspired by post-earthquake Christchurch.
Besides Japan, Cats is also produced regularly in other parts of Asia. The region has hosted numerous English-language productions of the musical, beginning with a tour from 1993 to 1994 when it played in Singapore (with local actress Jacintha Abisheganaden as Grizabella), Hong Kong and South Korea.Cats returned to Asia from 2002 to 2004, when an international touring company performed in Malaysia, South Korea,Shanghai,Taipei and Beijing; the 2004 cast included Slindile Nodangala in the role of Grizabella. A touring company visited Asia again between 2007 and 2010, including stops in Taiwan,Macau, and Thailand in 2007; South Korea from 2007 to 2008; China in 2008; Singapore and Hong Kong in 2009 (with Delia Hannah playing Grizabella); and Manila in 2010 (with Lea Salonga as Grizabella).Cats toured Asia again from 2014 to 2015, making stops in South Korea, Singapore and Macau. Two years later, another Asian tour was launched and is scheduled to run through 2020, with visits to South Korea from 2017 to 2018, Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2018, China in 2018 (with Joanna Ampil as Grizabella) and 2019, and planned stops in the Philippines and Singapore in 2019, and Malaysia in 2020.Cats was China's highest-grossing musical in 2018, accounting for over 20% of the total grosses from all musicals staged in the country that year.
The musical has also been translated and staged nationally in Asia. From September 2008 to May 2009, a Korean-language production toured South Korea, with Shin Youngsook and Ock Joo-hyun alternating as Grizabella, Kim Jin-woo and Daesung alternating as Rum Tum Tugger, and Kim Bo-kyung as Rumpleteazer. This production was revived and toured South Korea from 2011 to 2012, with Insooni and Park Hae-mi taking turns to portray Grizabella. The first Chinese-language production began touring various cities in China in 2012.
Spanish and Portuguese-language productions of Cats have been staged in South America, with productions in Argentina in 1993 (with Mexican actress Olivia Bucio as Grizabella), in Chile in 2006 (at the Arena Santiago) and 2014, in Colombia in 2009, and in Brazil in 2010 (with Paula Lima as Grizabella).
Other countries that the musical has been performed in include South Africa (2001–2002), Lebanon (2002), Qatar (2003, 2017), Turkey (2013), Israel (2014), and the United Arab Emirates (2017).
A full-length production of Cats has been performed regularly for guests aboard Royal Caribbean International's cruise ship Oasis of the Seas, starting in autumn 2014, with a cast rotating every nine months.
Regional and amateur
A school production of Cats in Bangalore, India (2014)
Cats has been produced by various professional regional theatre companies. Broadway Sacramento staged the musical in 2003 and 2009 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. Both productions featured Ken Page reprising his role as Old Deuteronomy from the original Broadway production, along with Jacquelyn Piro Donovan as Grizabella and Jeffry Denman as Munkustrap. A 2010 amphitheatre production at The Muny starred Page as Old Deuteronomy, Stephanie J. Block as Grizabella and Lara Teeter as Munkustrap. The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts staged the musical in 2014, with a cast that included Todrick Hall as Rum Tum Tugger.
Nick Winston directed and choreographed a production at the Kilworth House Theatre in 2019 with a cast that included Emma Hatton and Helen Anker. Set in a dilapidated London Underground station during World War II, this production was given a 5-star review by The Stage for its "radical" reimagining of Cats.
The musical is also available for school and amateur licensing through The Musical Company. On 24 March 2013, the largest-ever staging of Cats was performed by 3,000 students from Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, UK.
Further information: Cats (1998 film) and Cats (2019 film)
Steven Spielberg's former animation studio Amblimation had planned an animated adaptation of the musical in the 1990s. The film was to be set in war-torn London during World War II, but the project was abandoned with the studio's closure in 1997. The following year, a direct-to-video film was released. The film was directed by David Mallet and was shot at the Adelphi Theatre in London. It starred Elaine Paige as Grizabella, John Mills as Gus, Ken Page as Old Deuteronomy, and Michael Gruber as Munkustrap.
A film adaptation directed by Tom Hooper for Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Working Title Films was released on 20 December 2019. The film starred James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Idris Elba as Macavity, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Ian McKellen as Gus, Taylor Swift as Bombalurina, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots and Francesca Hayward as Victoria. It was poorly received by both critics and audiences and was also a massive flop at the box office. Andrew Lloyd Webber also disowned the film; claiming that it convinced him to get a therapy dog.
Cats is a commercial blockbuster. Its worldwide box office gross of over US billion by 1994 made it the highest grossing musical in history at the time. In 2012, the New York Post reported that the musical's grosses had reached .5 billion.
The original London production received mostly rave reviews, with critics hailing it as a watershed moment in British musical theatre.Michael Billington of The Guardian lauded Cats as "an exhilarating piece of total theatre". Billington praised the show's "strong framework" and the ease in which the poems were integrated. He was also very impressed by Lloyd Webber's fitting compositions, Napier's environmental set, Lynne's effective and at times brilliant choreography, and Nunn's "dazzling staging" that makes use of the entire auditorium. The show received similarly glowing reviews from The Sunday Times' Derek Jewell and The Stage's Peter Hepple. Jewell proclaimed it to be "among the most exhilarating and innovative musicals ever staged", while Hepple declared that with Cats, "the British musical has taken a giant leap forward, surpassing in ingenuity and invention anything Broadway has sent us".
There were a few lukewarm reviews, most notably from Irving Wardle of The Times. Wardle enjoyed Lloyd Webber's compositions but found the visual spectacle too overwhelming. Robert Cushman's review for The Observer concluded that Cats was flawed but unmissable.
The reviews for the 2014 and 2015 London revivals were positive as well, with critics giving both productions an average of 4 out of 5 stars. Critics generally found the revivals to be enjoyable and invigorating, though Mark Shenton was disappointed that the new staging lacked the immersiveness of the original.
Reactions to the original Broadway production were mixed. In his review for The New York Times, Frank Rich noted that the main draw of the show was that it "transports the audience into a complete fantasy world that could only exist in the theater". He attributed much of this "wondrous spectacle" to Nunn's direction, Napier's set and costume designs, as well as the talented cast. Rich found many of Lloyd Webber's songs to be "cleverly and appropriately" pastiche, and was impressed with how Lynne and Nunn distinguished each character through personalised movement. However, he panned Lynne's choreography and felt that the musical failed in its vague attempt to tell a story. Overall, he wished that the show had more "feeling to go with its most inventive stagecraft."Clive Barnes of the New York Post concluded his review saying: "Its importance lies in its wholeheartedness. It is a statement of musical theater that cannot be ignored, should prove controversial and will never be forgotten."
The 2016 Broadway revival received a similarly mixed review by Charles Isherwood of The New York Times. Isherwood concluded that the revival was "fundamentally the Cats you knew and loved when you were first bit by the musical-theater bug. Or it's the Cats you knew and snickered at when you first encountered it."
Awards and nominations
Main article: List of awards and nominations for the musical Cats
Cats has received many international awards and nominations. The original London production was nominated for six Laurence Olivier Awards in 1981, winning two awards including Best New Musical. Two years later, the original Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, out of eleven nominations. The London and Broadway cast recordings were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, which the latter won. In 2015, the London revival was nominated for — but did not win — two Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival.
Cultural impact and legacy
This is how they divide history: BC — Before Cats — and AD — Andrew Dominant.
— Mark Steyn on the history of musical theatre.
Despite mixed reviews when Cats opened in New York in 1982, critics agreed that it was innovative and visually spectacular in ways that Broadway had never seen before. The musical became a cultural phenomenon and has had a profound influence on the medium.Cats established musical theatre as a global commodity, marking the beginning of a new era in the industry that is characterised by huge global stakes for potentially even huger global profits. It led the shift in the Broadway market towards big-budget blockbusters and shows that appeal to families and tourists, which in turn left smaller productions struggling to compete.Cats also ushered in a "golden age of British musicals" which saw West End exports dominate the industry for nearly two decades. Musical theatre historian Vagelis Siropoulos asserted that in terms of impact, the "seminal Broadway opening" of Cats was "comparable only to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! thirty nine years ago."
Ultimately, critics are polarized on whether Cats has changed musical theatre for the better or for the worse. William Grimes wrote of its detractors: "There are more than a few who see the Cats phenomenon as the theatrical equivalent of the rise of the megabudget Hollywood action film. For them, Cats is a soulless money machine."
Influence and innovations
As the "first true megamusical",Cats pioneered a genre of musical theatre that is produced on a grand and global scale. It paved the way for later megamusicals — including Les Misérables (1985), The Phantom of the Opera (1986) and Miss Saigon (1989) — that have dominated the industry since. Siropoulos explained:
Cats is considered the quintessential megamusical, because it reconceived, like no other show before, theatrical space as an immense affective encompasser, that transforms the viewing experience into a hypercharged thrill-ride and the spectator into an explorer of new and challenging aural and visual sensations. Its unprecedented success paved the way for even bolder hyperspatial configurations, made the set designer a proper environment builder and raised light and sound design into the status of art in their own right. It also paved the way for the constant revolutionization of stage technology.
The cat's-eyes logo and the "now and forever" slogan were used to advertise the musical at the New London Theatre (1999).
Cats introduced a marketing strategy that set the template for subsequent megamusicals. Early advertisements for the musical did not feature traditional pull quotes (despite many positive reviews) or any of the cast, instead branding the show itself as the star. It did this by adopting — and then aggressively promoting — a single recognisable image (the cat's-eyes logo) as the face of the show. The cat's-eyes logo was the first globally marketed logo in musical theatre history, and was paired with a tagline ("now and forever") to create what The Daily Telegraph called "one of musical theatre's greatest posters". Such branding emblems proved equally effective for later megamusicals, as seen with the waif Cosette for Les Misérables and the Phantom's mask for The Phantom of the Opera. This advertising method had the additional effect of diminishing the importance of critical reviews, popularising the so-called "critic-proof" status of megamusicals.
Additionally, Cats was the first Broadway and West End show to capitalise on merchandising as a major revenue stream. Stalls were set up in the theatre lobbies to sell souvenirs ranging from toys and watches to coffee mugs, all of which were emblazoned with the cat's-eyes logo. The official Cats t-shirt became the second-best-selling t-shirt in the world in the 1980s, second only to the Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt. Merchandising has since become an important source of income for the industry.
Beyond the megamusical, Cats also led the Broadway trend for musicals aimed at families and tourists, which later took the form of the Disney Theatrical Productions and jukebox musicals. The marketing campaigns for the musical targeted family audiences at a time when this demographic was not a consideration in the industry. Composer Joe Raposo said of family musicals in 1986: "Cats is a wonderful proof of what an audience is out there, untapped. People do want a theatrical experience for their children." Thanks to its easily accessible spectacle, the original Broadway production also tapped into the then-burgeoning tourist boom in New York and its audience shifted increasingly towards foreign visitors in its later years. Billington also specifically traces the rise of the jukebox musical genre back to Cats, citing the latter's disregard for dramatic text in favour of an all-encompassing theatrical experience.
Radio microphones have become the norm in live theatre since Cats.
The musical's fantasy setting and disregard for verisimilitude allowed for groundbreaking experimentations in lighting and audio technology. The original London and Broadway productions featured David Hersey's pioneering use of automated lighting to produce kaleidoscopic landscapes and complicated optical effects. Hersey also used light in an "architectural manner", with fast-changing configurations to spotlight different performers in rapid succession. This dynamic shifting of the audience's perspective created an effect similar to that of fast cutting in film editing. The original London production of Cats was also the first known instance in which an entire cast was individually outfitted with radio microphones. The departure from shared ambient microphones meant that the show did not have to depend on the acoustics and architectural design of the theatrical venue, and enabled the sound designer to achieve cinematic levels of sound amplification and studio-quality audio in live theatre. This practice transformed sound design and has since become the norm in live theatre.
Cats opened new regional, touring and international markets that the industry continues to capitalise on. Recognising the global potential of his show, Mackintosh replicated the original production worldwide with an unprecedented degree of standardisation. Paraphrasing theatre historian Alan Filewod, Marla Carlson wrote:
Cats began the progressive transformation of "Broadway" from a specific location into a delocalized "moment of reception" that can be experienced anywhere and everywhere, even while continuing to depend upon the stamp of approval that box-office success in an actual Broadway theater bestows.
In the 1980s, the success of local productions of Cats in Tokyo, Sydney, Vienna, Hamburg, and Toronto were turning points that established these cities (and their respective countries) as major commercial markets in the global theatrical circuit. The musical was also a boon for the Broadway touring industry. In 1997, The New York Times credited the regional and touring productions of Cats with "almost single-handedly reviv[ing] the sagging road business".Cats revolutionised the touring business by introducing the now commonplace practice of extended touring engagements that can last several weeks or months in a single city, as opposed to the typical one-week or ten-day tour stop. Mackintosh's insistence that all touring productions of Cats replicate the Broadway production also resulted in the expansion and upgrading of regional theatre venues to accommodate the musical's demanding logistical requirements, as local theatre owners did not want to miss out on the opportunity to host the lucrative show.
Main article: Memory (Cats song)
"Memory" is the standout hit song from Cats. By 2002, the song had been played over two million times on radio and television stations in the US. It was the most requested song at piano bars and lounges in the 1980s, and was an equally popular choice at weddings, concerts and other gatherings. As of 2006, the song had been recorded around 600 times by artists such as Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, and Johnny Mathis, in covers ranging from easy listening to techno. According to Sternfeld, it is "by some estimations the most successful song ever from a musical."
Cats was the ground-breaking show for all of us... The success of it gave us all the freedom to go on and do other shows.
Despite moderate hits with Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, Lloyd Webber was still relatively unknown to the general public before Cats, especially in the US. With Cats, he became a big celebrity in his own right. The musical also established the theatrical careers of the original creative and production team. Following Cats, they collaborated on other global blockbusters including Starlight Express (composed by Lloyd Webber, directed by Nunn and designed by Napier), Les Misérables (directed by Nunn, designed by Napier and produced by Mackintosh), and The Phantom of the Opera (composed by Lloyd Webber, choreographed by Lynne and produced by Mackintosh).
The New London Theatre, where the original London production of Cats played for 21 years, was officially renamed the Gillian Lynne Theatre in 2018. This made Lynne the first non-royal woman to have a West End theatre named after her.
By 2012, the royalty payments from Cats to the Eliot estate had totalled an estimated 0 million. Valerie Eliot used a portion of this money to establish the literary charity Old Possum's Practical Trust, and to set up the T. S. Eliot Prize which has since become "the most coveted award in poetry".Cats also turned things around for the independent British publishing house Faber and Faber. As the publisher of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, royalties of up to £1 million annually kept the then-struggling Faber afloat during the 1980s. Moreover, the musical led to a surge in the sales of Eliot's book. The success of Cats led Faber to turn another of their literary properties, Ted Hughes' The Iron Man, into a 1989 musical of the same name.
In popular culture
Cats has been referenced many times on screen; from the films Six Degrees of Separation and Team America: World Police, to the sketch comedy Saturday Night Live, and animated series like Family Guy, The Simpsons and BoJack Horseman, as well as live action comedies including The Golden Girls, Caroline in the City, Glee and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. An episode of the musical television series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, titled "I Need Some Balance", parodied Cats by having all the songs sung by anthropomorphic cats who "introduce [themselves] over '80s Broadway beats".
Stage parodies of the musical have also been mounted in the West End and Off-Broadway. CAT – (THE PLAY!!!), a one-man show written by Jamie Beamish and Richard Hardwick, is a dark comedy about the fictitious life of Dave, a cat who was fired from the original London production of Cats on opening night. Starring Gerard McCarthy as Dave and with choreography by Arlene Phillips, the musical premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival; it performed at various regional venues before making its West End debut at the Ambassadors Theatre in April 2017.Katdashians! Break the Musical!, a parody mashup of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Cats by Bob and Tobly McSmith, premiered Off-Broadway at the Elektra Theatre in June 2016. All the song parodies of Cats were later removed after accusations of copyright infringement from Lloyd Webber's representatives, who claimed the songs were being used "to parody another subject matter entirely". Other stage shows that satirise Cats include Six Degrees of Separation,Angels in America, and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).
Madame Tussauds New York features wax figures of several characters from the musical, including one of Grizabella that sings "Memory" through the use of projection mapping technology. Similarly, a wax figure of Rumpleteazer is displayed at the Panoptikum wax museum in Hamburg, Germany.
A Cats postage stamp was issued by the United States Postal Service in 2000 as part of its Celebrate the Century series. The musical was chosen as one of fifteen "outstanding artifacts, events and activities" from the 1980s to be commemorated with its own stamp design. Beginning in March 2019, the Rinkai Line in Tokyo, Japan, uses two songs from the musical for its train departure melodies at the Ōimachi Station; the train to Ōsaki Station uses a jingle of "Memory", while the train to Shin-Kiba Station uses a jingle of "Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat".
Recordings and music video
List of cast recordings, with selected chart positions, sales figures and certifications
Peak chart positions
Original London cast
Released: 1 July 1981 (UK), July 1982 (US)
Label: PolyGram (UK),Geffen Records (US)
Formats: LP, cassette, 2-disc CD
UK: Silver (1981); Gold (1993)
Original Broadway cast
Released: 26 January 1983 (US)
Label: Geffen Records (US)
Formats: LP, cassette, CD
Original Viennese cast
Label: Polydor Records
Original Australian cast
Original Japanese cast
Released: 21 April 1985
Label: Pony Canyon
Original Hamburg cast
Released: 6 October 1986
Label: Polydor Records
Formats: LP, CD
Original Dutch cast
Label: Mercury Records
Original London cast (Highlights from Cats)
Label: Polydor Records
UK: Silver (1993)
Released: 8 February 1989
Label: Pony Canyon
Original French cast
Label: Polydor Records
Formats: LP, cassette, CD
Original Mexican cast
Label: Polydor Records
Original Polish cast
Released: 12 January 2004
Label: Universal Music Polska
Released: December 2006
Label: Universal Music
Original Italian cast
Released: 26 January 2010
Label: Compagnia della Rancia
Released: 24 April 2019
Label: Universal Music Japan
Released: 20 December 2019
Label: Universal Music
"The Rum Tum Tugger"
Starring original Broadway cast member Terrence Mann as Rum Tum Tugger, the musical number was re-arranged and re-staged for a music video. It was the first music video created to promote a Broadway show.
Revisions and cut material
The stage production of Cats has undergone several revisions since its London opening. When the show transferred to Broadway, several cuts and rewrites were made with the intention of appealing more to an American audience. Additionally, a song entitled "Cat Morgan Introduces Himself" was cut during initial development. Lloyd Webber performed this song at the show's 6,138th Broadway performance, when it broke the record to become the longest-running Broadway show.
"Growltiger's Last Stand"
The "Growltiger's Last Stand" sequence has been changed multiple times over the course of the show's history. In the original London production, the "last duet" for Growltiger and Griddlebone was a setting for an unpublished Eliot poem, "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw". For the original Broadway production, the Ballad was replaced with "In Una Tepida Notte", a parody of Italian opera with more slapstick humour. This new version was eventually incorporated into all other productions of Cats.
"Growltiger's Last Stand" has been criticised as being racially offensive. The original lyrics, taken directly from the Eliot poem it is based on, included the ethnic slur "Chinks" and this was later replaced with the word "Siamese". The number also originally involved the cast putting on "Asian accents" to portray the Siamese cats.
In the 1998 video version, the entire scene featuring Growltiger was cut. By 2016, "Growltiger's Last Stand" had been removed completely from the US and UK productions of the show.
Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer
In the original London production, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer were characters in their own right and sang their eponymous song themselves as a singsong-style duet. When the show transferred to Broadway, the song was instead sung in the third-person, with Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer as puppets being magically controlled by Mr. Mistoffelees. Their number was also rewritten to be faster and more upbeat, alternating between vaudeville-style verses and a "manic patter" section. Eventually, the Broadway version of the song was rewritten to allow Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer to once again sing their own song as full characters.
Rum Tum Tugger
The 2014 London revival introduced several modernisations to the show. Rum Tum Tugger was reworked from a ladies-man rockstar to a breakdancing street cat. His eponymous musical number was also turned into a rap. The 2015 Australian tour and 2015 Paris production also used the new version of the character; however, the 2016 Broadway revival did not.
The 2016 Broadway revival featured new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, who introduced more hip hop and cool jazz elements to the movements and dances. Blankenbuehler's choreography for the ensemble numbers did not differ too much from the original by Lynne, but significant changes were made in several solo numbers, including "The Rum Tum Tugger" and "Mr. Mistoffelees".
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Cats at the Internet Broadway Database
A Chorus Line
Longest-running Broadway show 1997–2006
The Phantom of the Opera
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cats_(musical)&oldid=1061306683"
Original Broadway Cast Recording Cover
MusicHarry WarrenLyricsAl Dubin Johnny MercerBookMichael Stewart Mark BrambleBasis42nd Street by Bradford Ropes 42nd Street by Rian James, James Seymour, and Whitney BoltonPremiereAugust 25, 1980 Winter Garden Theatre, New York CityProductions
1984 West End
2001 Broadway revival
2007 UK tour
2007 Asia Tour
2012 UK tour
2015 US tour
2017 West End revival
Tony Award for Best Musical
Olivier Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical
42nd Street is a 1980 stage musical with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer and music by Harry Warren. The 1980 Broadway production won the Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Choreography and it became a long-running hit. The show was also produced in London in 1984 (winning the Olivier Award for Best Musical) and its 2001 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival.
Based on the 1932 novel by Bradford Ropes and the subsequent 1933 Hollywood film adaptation, the backstage musical show focuses on the efforts of famed dictatorial Great White Way director Julian Marsh to mount a successful stage production of a musical extravaganza at the height of the Great Depression.
The show is a jukebox musical of sorts, in that, in addition to songs from the 1933 film 42nd Street, it includes songs that Dubin and Warren wrote for many other films at around the same time, including Gold Diggers of 1933, Roman Scandals, Dames, Gold Diggers of 1935, Go into Your Dance,Gold Diggers of 1937 and The Singing Marine. It also includes "There's a Sunny Side to Every Situation", written by Warren and Johnny Mercer for Hard to Get. A 2017 revival added the song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", written by Warren and Dubin for Moulin Rouge.
Producer David Merrick "took a huge gamble with his million production based on the 1933 Warner Brothers film musical", as "only one other show had made the transfer from original movie musical to the stage — Gigi, a flop in 1974." He felt audiences once again were ready to embrace the nostalgia craze started by the successful revivals of No, No, Nanette, Irene, and his own Very Good Eddie several years earlier, and augmented the familiar songs from the film's soundtrack with a liberal dose of popular tunes from the Dubin-Warren catalog. According to theater historian John Kenrick, "When the curtain slowly rose to reveal forty pairs of tap-dancing feet, the star-studded opening night audience at the Winter Garden cheered...Champion followed this number with a series of tap-infused extravaganzas larger and more polished than anything Broadway really had in the 1930s."
Original Broadway production
In June 1980, the musical premiered in out-of-town tryouts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which is located in Washington, D.C. The musical opened on Broadway on August 25, 1980, at the Winter Garden Theatre, and then moved to the Majestic and finally to the St. James, closing on January 8, 1989, after 3,486 performances and 6 previews. The production was directed and choreographed by Gower Champion. It was produced by David Merrick and featured orchestrations by Philip J. Lang. The original cast included Jerry Orbach as Julian Marsh, Tammy Grimes as Dorothy Brock, Wanda Richert as Peggy Sawyer, and Lee Roy Reams as Billy Lawlor. Notable replacements included Barry Nelson and Don Chastain and Jamie Ross who played Julian for the last three years of its Broadway run,Elizabeth Allen, Dolores Gray and Millicent Martin as Dorothy, and Lisa Brown and Karen Ziemba as Peggy. (Karen Prunzik, who originated the role of Anytime Annie, briefly played the role of Peggy when Wanda Richert became ill and her understudy abruptly quit the show.) The show's designers, Robin Wagner (sets), Theoni V. Aldredge (costumes), and Tharon Musser (lights) were the same team who had designed the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line. The original Broadway production is the 15th longest running show in Broadway history, as of October 1, 2021.
However, the opening night triumph was overshadowed by tragedy. Following a lengthy standing ovation, Merrick went onstage and stated, "This is a very tragic moment... I'm sorry to have to report that today, Gower Champion died." According to The Washington Post, the first part of his announcement was met with a few laughs from the audience, who thought this was another example of Merrick's publicity stunts. But as soon as he said that Champion had died, there were "gasps and screams." He then embraced a crying Richert, who was making her Broadway debut at the time. The producer had told only Bramble of Champion's death and they managed to withhold the news from the cast (including Richert, who was the director's girlfriend), the crew, and the public prior to the curtain call.42nd Street proved to be not only Champion's last show but Merrick's final success. Merrick lived until April 25, 2000, but, as described by Anthony Bianco, 42nd Street "was his last big hit, his swan song".
This Tony Award–nominated wardrobe, designed by Theoni V. Aldredge, is on rotating display at the Wick Theatre and Costume Museum in Boca Raton, Florida.
The West End production opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on August 8, 1984, starring James Laurenson as Julian Marsh, Georgia Brown as Dorothy Brock, Clare Leach as Peggy Sawyer, Michael Howe as Billy Lawler and Margaret Courtenay as Maggie Jones.Frankie Vaughn later took over as Julian Marsh, with Shani Wallis as Dorothy Brock and Maxine Audley as Maggie Jones. The career of teenaged Catherine Zeta-Jones, a chorus member in the 1984 West End production, was launched when a vacation and an illness felled both the actress portraying Peggy Sawyer and her understudy when one of the producers happened to be in the audience. Zeta-Jones filled in and was impressive enough to be cast permanently in the role shortly afterward. The Production closed on January 7, 1989 after nearly 5 years, one day before the original Broadway production closed.
A San Francisco production opened at the Golden Gate Theatre on February 19, 1985, and ran through July 20, concurrently with the original Broadway production.
The Sydney production of 42nd Street opened on June 2, 1989, at Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney. It closed July 28, 1990. The show starred Barry Quin as Julian Marsh, Nancye Hayes as Dorothy Brock, Leonie Paige as Peggy Sawyer, Todd McKenney as Billy Lawler and Toni Lamond as Maggie Jones, with Dein Perry as Andy Lee.
After the closure of the resident Theatre Royal Drury Lane production, the show would see a return engagement at the Dominion Theatre for a limited run between February 27 to April 20, 1991. Most notably the production featured Richard Armitage who was a part of the chorus.
A new production was staged for the Chichester Festival at the Chichester Festival Theatre in summer 2011. It was directed by Paul Kerryson with new choreography by Andrew Wright and starred Kathryn Evans as Dorothy and Tim Flavin as Julian. This production transferred to Curve in Leicester for the Christmas 2011 season (breaking all previous box office records for the theatre). Tim Flavin reprised his role, Ria Jones played Dorothy and Daisy Maywood portrayed Peggy.
The limited-run production at the Dominion Theatre toured the UK starring Bonnie Langford as Peggy. Three more UK Touring productions were produced by UK Productions in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Gemma Craven starred as Dorothy in the 1997 tour, Ruth Madoc starred as Dorothy in the 1999 and 2000 productions and James Smillie starred as Julian Marsh in all three productions. The 2001 production, by UK Productions, toured the UK in 2007. The cast included Paul Nicholas as Julian for the first part of the tour, later replaced by Dave Willetts, Julia J. Nagle as Dorothy, Jessica Punch as Peggy, Graham Hoadly as Bert Barry, Shirley Jameson as Maggie Jones and Ashley Nottingham as Billy. UK Productions mounted a second UK tour of the show in 2012 with Dave Willetts reprising the role of Julian, Marti Webb playing Dorothy, Graham Hoadly as Bert Barry, Carol Ball as Maggie Jones and Mark Bramble directing.
Bramble revised the book for and directed the Broadway revival, with choreography by Randy Skinner (dance assistant for the original production). It opened, after 31 previews, on May 2, 2001, at the Foxwoods Theatre (formerly the Ford Center for the Performing Arts), where it ran for 1,524 performances, closing January 2, 2005. The cast included Michael Cumpsty as Julian Marsh, Christine Ebersole as Dorothy Brock, Kate Levering as Peggy Sawyer, and David Elder as Billy Lawlor.Meredith Patterson, who made her Broadway musical debut in the chorus and was the understudy for the role of Peggy Sawyer, took over the role in August 2001. Todd Lattimore, who had been a swing and understudy, took the role of Billy. Other notable replacements included Patrick Cassidy and Tom Wopat as Julian and Shirley Jones and Beth Leavel as Dorothy.
Mark Bramble's Broadway Revival was reproduced in Stuttgart at the Stage Apollo Theater by Stage Entertainment. Performances began November 21, 2003, before closing December 32, 2004. The cast included Kevin Tarte as Julian Marsh, Isabel Dörfler as Dorothy Brock, Karin Seyfried as Peggy Sawyer, Jens Janke as Billy Lawlor, and Daniel Coninx as Abner Dillon.
An Asia tour of the Broadway revival played major venues throughout China and South Korea, with an English–speaking company directed by Mark Bramble. The cast included Paul Gregory Nelson as Julian, Natalie Buster as Dorothy, Kristen Martin as Peggy, and Charles MacEachern as Billy.
A slightly updated version of the 2001 revival, revised and directed by Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, began a United States tour in September 2015, opening in Salt Lake City, Utah on 22 September 2015. Matthew J. Taylor played Julian Marsh, Caitlin Ehlinger played Peggy Sawyer, and Blake Standik played Billy Lawlor. This production with a new cast, would tour the US again, from 2016 to 2017.
West End revival
A slightly revised version of the 2001 Broadway revival began a West End revival with previews on March 20, 2017, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where the show had its original London production, with an official opening night on April 4. Mark Bramble once again directed and Randy Skinner choreographed. The cast included Sheena Easton in her West End debut as Dorothy Brock, Clare Halse as Peggy Sawyer, Stuart Neal as Billy Lawlor and Tom Lister as Julian Marsh. Bruce Montague who previously starred in the UK Tour reprised his role. Graeme Henderson who previously played the role of Billy Lawlor in the original West End production and Andy in a UK Tour also reprised his role as Andy. The opening night was attended by The Duchess of Cambridge in her role as Royal Patron of the East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH). On March 19, 2018, Lulu took over from Easton as Dorothy Brock for a 16-week tenure, and Ashley Day took over from Neal as Billy Lawlor, with Lister and Halse remaining in the show. Steph Parry - who in March 2018 joined 42nd Street as understudy for the roles of Dorothy Brock and Maggie Jones - took over from Lulu as Dorothy Brock on July 9, 2018.Bonnie Langford who played the role of Peggy in a previous UK Tour took over as Dorothy Brock on September 3, 2018, until the show closed on January 5, 2019.
The production was recorded in November 2018 and aired live across cinemas in the UK. It eventually aired on PBS's Great Performances’ third annual “Broadway’s Best” lineup in November 2019.
Ogunquit Playhouse's production began previews on June 19, 2019, with the official opening on June 21, 2019.Randy Skinner directed and choreographed as it was the first major production since Bramble's passing in February 2019. The cast included Rachel York in a return to the Ogunquit Playhouse stage as Dorothy Brock, Sally Struthers as Maggie Jones, Jessica Wockenfuss as Peggy Sawyer, Steve Blanchard as Julian Marsh and Con O'Shea Creal as Billy Lawlor. The production was assistant-choreographed by Sara Brians who made her Broadway debut with the 2001 revival, and utilized sets designed by Douglas W. Schmidt for previous tours of 42nd Street. Costumes were sourced from a previous production in Stuttgart and various US Tours.
Auditions for 1933's newest show, Pretty Lady, are nearly over when Peggy Sawyer, fresh off the bus from Allentown, Pennsylvania, arrives in New York City with valise in hand. Billy Lawlor, already cast as one of the juvenile leads, notices her and hopes to charm her into accepting a date with him ("Young and Healthy"). He informs her she has missed the audition but he can help her bypass that process, but choreographer Andy Lee has no time for Billy's latest conquest and tells her, "Amscray, toots." Embarrassed and flustered, she rushes off, only to run into director Julian Marsh. One-time star Dorothy Brock, indignant at being asked to audition for a role, is reassured by co-writer and producer Bert Barry that he merely wants to make sure the songs are in her key ("Shadow Waltz"). Despite feeling she is a prima donna past her prime, Marsh agrees to cast her in order to get financial backing from her wealthy beau, Abner Dillon. Outside the theatre, co-writer and producer Maggie Jones and chorus girls Ann "Anytime Annie" Reilly, Phyllis Dale, and Lorraine Flemming take pity on Peggy and invite her to join them for lunch and some advice. They encourage her to show them a dance routine that is witnessed by Julian, who decides there might be room for one more chorus girl after all ("Go Into Your Dance").
Dorothy and Billy rehearse a kissing scene, but Abner refuses to put money into a show where he has to watch Dorothy kiss someone else. The kiss is removed from Pretty Lady ("You're Getting to be a Habit With Me"). Peggy faints and is taken to Dorothy's dressing room. Pat Denning (Dorothy's secret long-term boyfriend and former vaudeville partner) is there and tries to help her. Dorothy finds them there together and, assuming they are having an affair, blows up at them. Julian overhears the argument and, fearing that Abner will pull funding for the show, decides to end the affair between them. A phone call to an unsavory acquaintance brings Pat a visit from a couple of thugs who convince him to break it off with her. The show's cast then departs to Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia, for the out-of-town tryout ("Getting Out of Town").
The scenery and costumes will not arrive on time, but the cast begins their dress rehearsal regardless ("Dames/Keep Young and Beautiful/Dames (Reprise)"). Peggy asks Julian if he will be attending a planned party, and he accepts because he is attracted to her. At the party, a drunk Dorothy, who misses Pat, tells Abner she was only with him because of his money and breaks up with him. Abner wants to close the show, but he is convinced to keep it running. Dorothy finds Pat, but he is once again driven off by Julian at the hands of the gangsters. Peggy tries to warn Pat, and Dorothy catches them together, becoming greatly upset("I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams").
"Pretty Lady" finally opens ("We're in the Money"), but someone bumps into Peggy, which causes her to knock over Dorothy. When Dorothy cannot get up, an angered Julian immediately fires Peggy, and tells the audience that the show is canceled.
Dorothy's ankle is broken, and the show may close, but the chorus kids will not give up ("Sunny Side to Every Situation"). The chorus kids, certain Peggy could fill the lead role, find Julian and tell him that she's a fresh young face who can sing and dance circles around Dorothy. He decides it is worth a shot and rushes off to the train station to catch her before she departs. At Philadelphia's Broad Street Station, Julian apologizes to Peggy and asks her to stay and star in the show, but she responds that she has had enough of show business and wants to go home to Allentown. Dumbfounded, he tries to coax her with the words "Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway..." After the cast joins him in the serenade, she decides to accept his offer ("Lullaby of Broadway"). Forced to learn the part in two days, Peggy is about to mentally collapse when Dorothy, who has been watching the rehearsals, unexpectedly visits her and realizes that beneath her nervous exterior, Peggy is good, "maybe even better than I would have been". She even offers a little friendly advice on how to perform the last song, "About a Quarter to Nine."
It is time for the curtain to rise again ("Shuffle Off to Buffalo"). The opening night curtain is about to rise when Julian, now completely in love with Peggy, stops by for a last minute lip-lock and pep talk in which he utters the now iconic line, "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" The show is a huge success sure to catapult her into stardom ("42nd Street"). In addition, although she is invited to and expected to attend the official opening night party, she decides to go to the chorus one instead. Julian is left alone onstage with only a single ghost light casting his huge shadow on the back wall. He quietly begins to sing, "Come and meet those dancing feet on the avenue I'm taking you to...42nd Street" ("42nd Street (Reprise)").
Source: Tams-Witmark Synopsis
Peggy Sawyer – Nervous but enthusiastic new chorus girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Billy Lawlor – Leading tenor in Pretty Lady.
Dorothy Brock – Past her prime Prima Donna, renowned for inability to dance.
Julian Marsh – Famous, but notorious, director.
Maggie Jones – Co-writer and producer of Pretty Lady.
Bert Barry – Co-writer and producer of Pretty Lady.
Andy Lee – Choreographer of Pretty Lady.
Pat Denning – Dorothy's former vaudeville partner and romantic interest.
Abner Dillon – Producer of Pretty Lady and Dorothy's "Sugar Daddy".
Mac – Stage Manager of Pretty Lady.
Ann “Anytime Annie” Reilly, Lorraine Flemming, Phyllis Dale, and Gladys – Experienced chorus girls who help Peggy.
Oscar – Onstage rehearsal pianist for the show Pretty Lady.
U.S. tour (1984)
West End (1984)
U.S. tour (2002)
Théâtre du Châtelet (2017)
West End (2017)
Lee Roy Reams
Patrick Ryan Sullivan
Ryan K. Bailer
Ann “Anytime Annie” Reilly
Lisa Donmall Reeve
Emma Kate Nelson
"Overture" – Orchestra
"Audition" – Dancers
"Shadow Waltz" – Maggie, Dorothy, and Girls‡
"Young and Healthy" – Billy and Peggy
"Shadow Waltz (Reprise)" – Dorothy*
"Go into Your Dance" – Maggie, Peggy, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Gladys, and Andy
"You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me" – Dorothy
"Getting Out of Town" – Maggie, Bert, Pat, and Chorus
"We're in the Money" – Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Gladys, Peggy, Billy, and Chorus†
"Dames" – Billy and Chorus
"Keep Young and Beautiful/Dames Reprise" - Bert, Maggie and Ensemble
"I Only Have Eyes for You" - Dorothy and Billy*
"I Know Now" – Dorothy, Chorus and Billy*
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" – Dorothy**
"Act One Finale" – Dorothy and Orchestra*
"Entr'acte" – Orchestra*
"Sunny Side to Every Situation" – Annie and Chorus
"Lullaby of Broadway" – Julian and Company
"Getting Out of Town (Reprise)" – Company**
"About a Quarter to Nine" – Dorothy and Peggy
"With Plenty of Money and You" - Men Ensemble**
"Shuffle Off to Buffalo" – Maggie, Bert, Annie, and Girls
"42nd Street" – Peggy with Dancing Company
"42nd Street (Reprise)" – Julian
"Finale Ultimo" – Full Company and Orchestra
*Not included on the original cast recording
**Not featured in the original production
† In the 2001 revival, "I Only Have Eyes for You" directly follows "We're in the Money"
‡ In the 2017 West End revival, "Young and Healthy" was performed before "Shadow Waltz"
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
Drama Desk Award
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Lee Roy Reams
Outstanding Costume Design
Theoni V. Aldredge
Theatre World Award
Best Book of a Musical
Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Lee Roy Reams
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Best Direction of a Musical
Gower Champion (posthumous)
Best Costume Design
Theoni V. Aldredge
Best Lighting Design
Original London production
Evening Standard Award
Laurence Olivier Award
Best New Musical
Actress of the Year in a Musical
2001 Broadway revival
Drama Desk Award
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Outstanding Set Design
Douglas W. Schmidt
Outstanding Costume Design
Best Revival of a Musical
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Best Direction of a Musical
Best Scenic Design
Douglas W. Schmidt
Best Costume Design
Best Lighting Design
2017 West End revival
Laurence Olivier Award
Best Musical Revival
Best Theatre Choreographer
Best Costume Design
^ ab"42nd Street History". Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
^ abFleming, John (April 28, 2003). "Floridian Renovating 42nd Street". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 29, 2005.
^Kenrick, John (1996–2004). "History of the Musical Stage: The 1980s". musicals101.com. Archived from the original on September 23, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
^Lardner, James. "Familiar 'Street'; Hokey Tune of the '30s", The Washington Post, June 25, 1980, p. B1
^ abRich, Frank (August 26, 1980). "Theater:Musical 42ND Street". The New York Times. CXXIX (44687) (Late City ed.). p. C7. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
^"'42nd Street'" InternetBroadwayDatabase, accessed April 9, 2011
^ ab"Who Played Julian Marsh in '42nd Street'" broadwayworld.com, accessed April 8, 2011
^"Ziemba credits" Internet Broadway Database, accessed April 8, 2011
^"'A Chorus Line' listing, 1975" Internet Broadway Database, accessed April 8, 2011
^Viagas, Robert. "Long Runs on Broadway" playbill.com, September 22, 2015
^Keith Moore (August 26, 1980). "Broadway's Gower Champion Dies at 61". Daily News. New York, New York.
^Clarke Taylor (August 27, 1980). "Life and Death on 42nd Street". Los Angeles Times.
^42nd STREET opening night announcement (1980, Broadway)
^Weil, Martin; Lardner, James; Coe, Richard L. "Gower Champion Dies as Show Opens; Champion Dies As '42nd Street' Opens in N.Y", The Washington Post, August 26, 1980, p. A1
^Bianco, Anthony."David Merrick" Ghosts of 42nd Street: A History of America's Most Infamous Block (google books), HarperCollins, 2005, ISBN 0-06-056677-9, p. 220
^The Wick, Exhibits
^"Broadwayworld listing". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
^"42nd Street original cast - where are they now? | WhatsOnStage". www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
^"IT WAS 15 YEARS AGO TODAY 42nd Street opens in London". The Independent. August 8, 1999. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
^"Exposure" Los Angeles Magazine (google.books), August 1998, p. 42
^"Season History 1985" shnsf.com, accessed July 5, 2016.
^"AusStage". www.ausstage.edu.au. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
^"42nd Street - 1991 West End - Backstage & Production Info". www.broadwayworld.com. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
^"42nd Street (1991) Ensemble | Richard Armitage Central". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
^"42nd Street 1997-2000 – UK Productions". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
^Steven Male. "UK Productions listing for '42nd Street'". Ukproductions.co.uk. Archived from the original on February 13, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
^Rickwald, Bethany."Dave Willetts, Marti Webb Set for UK Tour of '42nd Street' " May 15, 2012
^ abBrantley, Ben."Theater Review:You've Got to Come Back a . . . You Know" The New York Times, May 3, 2001
^Jones, Kenneth."Meredith Patterson is New Peggy in Bway's 42nd Street Aug. 19" Archived October 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, August 19, 2001
^ abJones, Kenneth."Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy Announced for Bway's '42nd Street', Starting May 7" Archived October 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, March 23, 2004
^Jones, Kenneth."Tom Wopat Is the Duke of 42nd Street, Playing Julian Marsh Beginning June 21" Archived October 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, June 12, 2002
^"musicalzentrale - 42nd Street - Apollo Theater Stuttgart - Keine aktuellen Aufführungstermine". musicalzentrale.de. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
^"Press Release, announcing Shanghai engagement" nederlanderworld.com, August 7, 2007
^"Nederlander New Century Announces Tour of Tony Award-Winning Musical '42nd Street' Beginning September 2007" Archived December 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Broadway China Network, accessed April 8, 2011
^Haddock, Sharon. National Tour of '42nd Street' is set to launch at Capitol Theatre Tuesday Deseret News, September 18, 2015, p. C13
^Bowie-Sell, David (August 5, 2015). "42nd Street to open at Theatre Royal Drury Lane". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
^Longman, Will (November 4, 2016). "Sheena Easton to make West End debut in 42nd Street". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
^Smith, Neil (April 5, 2017). "42nd Street gets royal seal of approval". BBC News Online. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
^Bowie Sell, Daisy (February 23, 2018). "Lulu and Ashley Day to join cast of 42nd Street". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
^Wood, Alex (June 15, 2018). "Steph Parry to take over from Lulu in West End 42nd Street". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
^Wood, Alex; Hewis, Ben (July 13, 2018). "Bonnie Langford joins cast of 42nd Street and closing date announced". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
^"42nd Street: About". Great Performances. PBS. November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
^"42nd Street". ogunquitplayhouse.org. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
^"Rachel York & Sally Struthers Star In 42ND STREET At Ogunquit Playhouse". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
07-03-2019 · Although a purebred, the Birman cat has an average lifespan of 16 years. The Siamese, Burmese, and Persian cats have a lifespan of 14 years. The British Shorthair and Maine Coon have an average lifespan of 11 to 12 years. The Ragdoll and Abyssinian have an average lifespan of 10 years.
Extending the longevity of your pet is undoubtedly one trait common amongst all pet owners. If you would love to learn more about how long do cats live for and how you can ensure their longevity, then read on.
Have you Ever Wondered, How Long Do Cats Live for?
There’s a familiar tale you’ve probably heard about—the Nine Lives of a Cat. This common bedtime story has been told by parents for almost a hundred years. Written by Charles Bennet, this seemingly dark story, tells the tale of a sweet kitty who was able to escape death nine times.
Putting aside the crude humor depicted in this story—wouldn’t it be great if our cats had nine lives? So, if cats don’t have nine lives, how long do cats live for?
Although your feline friend can’t reach a ripe old age of 90 years! They can still live for a pretty long time. Veterinarians and long-time cat enthusiasts state that domestic cats can live up to 16 years old. In fact, many well-cared for felines can live until 19 years old.
There are Many Factors Which Will Influence the Average Lifespan of a Cat
Answering the question, how long do cats live for, is not as simple as one might think! We need to keep in mind that a lot of factors can influence your cat’s longevity.
Mortality is really just a synonym for death. For example, if we were to say that cat breed has a high mortality rate, then that means that they have a high death rate.
The study performed in 2015, found that cats will go through two periods in their, where their mortality would be high. This is seen at year 1 (age 1) and year 16 (age 16).
This data suggests that the majority of a given cat population will be more likely to die at 1 and 16 years old. These ages are considered a high-risk period!
Factors that Decrease the Cat Life Expectancy
To understand, how long do cats live for, we have to look at the most common factors that may decrease their lifespan. Now, there are many factors can decrease your feline friends’ mortality. A study performed in 2015 found that the 3 most common causes of death in house cats were renal failure, neoplasia, and non-specific illnesses.
Some other factors that can influence your cats’ longevity include:
The problem with fat cats: Poor nutrition, ad lib feeding, and lack of exercise can all cause your cat to gain weight. While a fat cat may look cute and cuddly, the results of feline obesity can be drastic. Statistics show that an obese cat will have an average life expectancy of 5 to 10 years. This is because obesity puts a cat at risk of developing heart and respiratory problems, as well as diabetes.
To fix or not to fix: An unfixed cat will not live as long as one that is fixed. Studies show that neutering or spaying your furry feline will increase their lifespan! Unfixed cats are at risk of developing testicular cancers, breast tumors, asthma, and abscesses in the future.
Indoors vs Outdoors: Healthy and active indoor cats will live longer than outdoor cats, as they are less likely to acquire pathogenic diseases.
Purebred vs Mixed: Much evidence suggests that mixed breed animals tend to live longer than their purebred counterparts. This is mainly due to the gene diversity in mixed breeds.
Average Cat Lifespan: How Long do Indoor Cats Live?
If you’ve got an outdoor cat, then your veterinarian has probably already scolded you about keeping cats indoors.
You should listen to your vet!
Indoor cats do indeed live much longer than outdoor. And, it doesn’t take a lot of science to prove it!
Cats kept indoors are generally kept in a clean and safe environment. For the most part, they are less likely to come into contact with deadly pathogens, viruses, and parasites. In addition, they are less likely to encounter a traumatic injury.
Cats who are free to roam the outdoors, are more at risk of contracting deadly pathogens. Viral diseases like— the Feline Calicivirus or the Rabies virus— will be prevalent in other cats or mammals. An outdoor cat who encounters such a virus will undoubtedly, contract these viral diseases.
Aside from viral diseases, outdoor cats also have an increased risk of contracting bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. For instance, a few diseases an outdoor cat can acquire is:
Ringworm (zoonotic disease)
Fleas & Ticks
Tapeworm from consuming dead mice or rats (zoonotic)
Outdoor cats are a lot more likely to come home with—or die—from a severe injury. Cars, other cats, dogs, and even wild animals can all cause injury and death to a cat.
Working Out the Average Cat Lifespan: How Old is My Cat? Cat Years vs Human Years
Trying to figure out your cats’ age can be quite tricky. Often a trained veterinary professional can determine a cats age.
Before we give you some tips on how to tell how old your cat is—in cat years—you will first need to familiarize yourself with their growth cycle.
Female cats become sexually mature when they reach about 80% of their adult weight. Now, this can be anywhere from 6 to 10 months. Males, on the other hand, reach sexual maturity at 5 months of age. During these few months, both male and female cats are considered to be in their teenage years!
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, a cat can be considered a senior when they pass 10 years old.
So, how do we tell how old our cat is?
The best and most trusted way of determining a cats age is by looking at their teeth. Now, if you don’t know the anatomy of the feline jaw, then chances are you won’t be able to determine their age. However, if you do a little anatomy, then here’s how you can tell a cats age.
At age 2 to 4 weeks, you will see their baby incisors coming in. And, generally, between 3 to 4 weeks you will be able to see their baby canines coming in.
Between 4 to 6 weeks kittens will begin to grow their baby premolars on their bottom jaw. And, at 8 weeks all teeth will come in.
By 4 months of age, your kitten will have its permanent incisors come in. And, at 5 to 7 months of age, all permanent teeth will come in.
A 1-year-old cat will have clean pearly whites! They will not have tartar build-up or plaque formation. However, by 2 years old, their teeth may have a dull yellow.
From 3 to 6 years old, a cat will have worn out teeth. They may show evidence of tartar and plaque buildup!
Finally, cats who are 10 to 15 years old may demonstrate missing teeth, gum disease, bad breath, or even severe plaque build up.
Longest Living Pets: Meet the Oldest Cat in the World
Sometimes, some kitties do get nine lives. There is an incredible list of feline friends who’ve made their owners proud, by winning the Guinness World Book of Records for the Worlds Oldest Cat!
So, who are these famous cats that were able to live for so long?
Creme Puff: A mixed breed kitty born in 1967 was able to reach the ripe old age of 38 years old.
Baby: A sweet black cat born in 1970 was able to reach 38 years old too!
Puss: A loveable tabby cat born in 1903 passed away in November 1939. This furry old girl was 36 years old!
Today, Rubble is considered the Worlds Oldest Cat alive. Rubble the cat is currently 31 years old!
How Old Do Cats Live? Cat Breeds with the Shortest to Longest Lifespan
You’ve likely already heard that a mixed breed cat is much more likely to live a longer life, compared to a purebred.
But, have you ever wondered why?
Heterosis is a term geneticist use to explain why moggies (aka mixed breeds) live longer than purebreds. Now, heterosis is actually quite a complicated scientific theory to understand. So, to keep things simple, we’ll describe how it plays a role in your cats’ genetics.
Outcrossing is a practice where a breeder will introduce a new gene into the breeding pool. For example, the Toyger cat was created by mixing a Bengal cat with a domestic tabby.
The act of introducing new genes into an already narrow gene pool would mean the breeder is increasing the genetic diversity. It is almost like the law of probability!
The more diverse genes you have in an animal, the less likely are the chances on them inheriting a medical disorder.
Now that we understand how long do cats live for let’s look more specifically at the lifespan of pedigree cat breeds.
Cat Breeds According to their Lifespan
Although a purebred, the Birman cat has an average lifespan of 16 years
The Siamese, Burmese, and Persian cats have a lifespan of 14 years
The British Shorthair and Maine Coon have an average lifespan of 11 to 12 years.
The Ragdoll and Abyssinian have an average lifespan of 10 years.
So, How Long do Domestic Cats Live for?
So, to finally answer the question–how long do cats live for— you will have to consider many factors such as breed, environment, health, and personal finance. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted that most cats can live easily into their early teens.
Common Questions on How Long Do Cats Live?
How long do house cats live?
What is considered old age for a cat and the average domestic cat lifespan?
What shortens a cat’s lifespan?
Finding the perfect diet for your dog can be challenging. Often you have to search to find a quality, vet-approved dog food formula that will satisfy your dog’s nutritional needs and taste requirements.
To make things easy for dog owners, we have reviewed premium-quality dog foods that meet high quality and safety standards, and one brand, 4health Dog Food, definitely stood out from the rest.
4Health is a reputable and trustworthy brand that offers wet and dry, adult and puppy formula diets that are full of beneficial and nutritional ingredients that will keep your canine strong, healthy, and happy.
4Health Dog Food Review at a Glance
Veterinarians.org Rating: 4
4Health Dog Food Company Information
4Health dog food is a family-owned, private label brand manufactured for the Tractor Supply Company by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc.
The Tractor Supply Company (in business since 1938) is the largest rural lifestyle store in the US, selling various home, pet, and farming products. On the other hand, founded in 1970, Diamond Pet Foods is a privately-held enterprise owned by Schell and Kampeter.
TSC launched the 4Health premium line of dog food in 2010. With 20% lower prices than most national brands, the company markets this new pet food as budget-friendly and affordable yet supporting optimal health.
Where is 4Health Dog Food Made?
The Tractor Supply Company has over 1000 locations across the USA, but it is based in Brentwood, Tennessee. However, the 4Health Dog Food is manufactured in the three Diamond Pet Food plants located in Meta, Missouri, Lathrop, California, and Gaston, South Carolina.
Most importantly, Diamond’s plants are GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)-certified, and you can find all of the different 4Health dog food and cat formulas across the country in Tractor Supply Company stores.
Types of 4Health Dog Food
4Health offered dry and canned dog food as well as tasty dog treats and snacks. Here is a list of the different 4Health Dog Food formulas:
Where to Buy 4Health Dog Food
4Health Dog Food Formulas
We will thoroughly review the 4Health Salmon & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs and then discuss three other 4Health Lines – the 4Health Original Dog Food, the 4Health Grain Free Dog Food, and the 4Health Special Care Dog Food.
4Health Salmon & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs
Summary: The Salmon & Potato Formula is the most popular 4Health pet food, and with salmon and ocean fish meal as main ingredients (25% crude protein) and 14.0% crude fat, there is a backed-up science behind the diet’s popularity. The salmon and egg products provide protein, and the ocean fish meal and canola oil are rich sources of fats and linoleic omega-6 and linolenic acid omega-3 fatty acids.
The formula includes wholesome ingredients like potatoes, peas, and cracked pearled barley. The potatoes, cracked pearled barley, and millet add carbohydrates and the peas are rich in protein. The formula also includes blueberries, cranberries, spinach, dried kelp, apples, carrots which provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
For a better profile, the formula is enriched with folic acid, riboflavin, biotin, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), selenium, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, zinc sulfate, copper proteinate, potassium iodide, manganous oxide, iron proteinate, and zinc proteinate.
The 4Health Salmon & Potato Formula has added probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium), prebiotics (dried chicory root), and digestive enzymes (Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract) for healthy digestion. It also has chondroitin sulfate (100 mg/kg) and glucosamine hydrochloride (300 mg/kg) for joint health and mobility support.
Finally, this dry dog food features Yucca Schidigera extract for better poop quality and less odor and L-carnitine, which speeds up the metabolism, thus supporting lean body and weight management.
Salmon as the first ingredient (ethoxyquin-free)
Warious grains, fruits, and veggies
Natural flavors and added health-boosting ingredients
Supports digestion, the immune system, skin, and joint health
Free from corn, wheat, and soy
Relatively low overall fiber content (3%)
Flaxseed is linked with lower reproductive performances
Some dogs have trouble digesting peas
Review: We like the diet’s suitability for dogs allergic to traditional protein sources like chicken and beef. We also like the inclusion of antioxidants, probiotics, and joint-friendly compounds. We dislike the use of tomato pomace and flaxseed as poor fiber sources. All in all, we rate the 4Health Salmon & Potato Formula as Best for Adult Dogs.
No Wheat, No Corn, No Soy
Salmon is the main ingredient
Omega Fatty Acids for Skin and Coat
Healthy Digestion Support
Summary: For their Original Dog Food, 4Health has sourced high-quality meat to ensure your pet can enjoy nutritious protein that is not a poultry by-product nor contains harmful ingredients.
This dog food does not contain corn, soy or wheat, but does contain powerful antioxidants and omega fatty acid for a silky and shiny coat and a healthy immune system. Overall, 4Health Original Dog Food offers a wholesome and beneficial meal for your dog.
No wheat, no corn, no soy
Salmon is the main ingredient
Omega fatty acids for skin and coat
Healthy digestion support
Review: We like the salmon as the first ingredient and added health-boosting compounds. We dislike the use of flaxseed oil. All in all, we rate the 4Health Original Dog Food as the Best for Dogs of All Ages.
No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
Species Specific Probiotics for Digestive Support
Whitefish is the #1 Ingredient
Omega Fatty Acids for Skin and Coat
Summary: When your pet has a food allergy, finding the right pet food products can be challenging. But, 4Health Pet Food caters to those with a food allergy by offering a grain-free meal option.
With the 4Health Grain Free Dog Food, you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog will love its food and is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. It also contains probiotics that aid digestion, avoid an upset stomach, and help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
High-quality protein source
Species-specific probiotics for digestive support
Rich in omega fatty acids
Often out of stock due to high demand
Review: We like the grain-free option, and the use of species-specific probiotics – two factors dogs with allergies can benefit from. We dislike the frequent unavailability. All in all, we rate the 4Health Grain Free Dog Food as the Best for Dogs with Allergies.
No Corn, Wheat or Soy
Species-Specific Probiotics for Digestive Support
Summary: The Special Care line of 4Health Pet Food is perfect for dogs with dietary needs and could do with some pet health support. The formulas focus on providing healthy and balanced nutrients while supporting optimal health and well-being.
The line includes three different formulas: 4Health Special Care Sensitive Stomach Formula for Adult Dogs, 4Health Special Care Weight Management Formula for Adult Dogs, and 4Health Special Care Sensitive Skin Formula for Adult Dogs
No corn, wheat, or soy
Probiotics for digestive support
Negative comments about the bag size
Review: We like the limited selection of ingredients and added condition-specific components. We dislike that some customers complain about the bag size and price. All in all, we rate the 4Health Special Care Dog Food as theBest for Health Support.
Additional 4Health Products
4Health Dog Food Ingredient Analysis
The 4Health Dog Food uses high-quality meat and fat sources (instead of the typical chicken meal and chicken fat), and most importantly, the fish meal is stated to be ethoxyquin-free. Plus, the formulas do not feature GMO ingredients, fillers, and allergens like soy, corn, and wheat.
All preservatives and flavors are natural, and 4Health Dog Food regularly uses additional health-boosting ingredients like omega fatty acids, vitamins, chelated minerals, antioxidants, dietary fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and chondroprotectants.
Last but not least, 4Health Dog Food is not made of organic ingredients, and the meat sources are not free-range grown or wild-caught from pristine waters. There are also questions regarding the use of ground race without stating whether it is brown rice or white rice.
However, the brand offers high-quality and well-paired ingredients or, in simple words, proper nutrition with a reasonable price tag.
4Health Dog Food Recalls: What You Need to Know
Diamond Pet Foods voluntarily recalled 4Health Dog food in May 2012. This was due to the discovery of salmonella contamination on their dog food brands with a best-by date from December 2012 to April 2013.
After a thorough investigation, 4Health Dog Food was not found to have salmonella, but the action was taken as a precaution to protect pets across the country.
Is 4Health Food Right for Your Dog?
Since it is difficult to find a bad review about 4Health Dog Food it is safe to assume that the formula is suitable for your dog’s nutritional and individual needs.
In fact, most dog owners are happy with the variety of 4Health Dog Food options and the premium quality they have experienced with the meat and fish meal options. There are customer reviews reporting that their dog is enjoying better skin and a healthier coat after eating 4Health dog food.
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Our Final Thoughts on 4Health Dog Food
We believe that 4Health Dog Food offers balanced pet food for puppies and adult dogs of all breeds, shapes, and sizes, as well as catering to allergies and dietary needs.
The dog food brand’s overarching goal is to provide quality ingredients and fresh meat that brings a balance of macronutrients to your dog’s diet. This is important for everyday life and making sure your pup stays fit and healthy.
Plus, 4Health Dog Food has a rich range of pet foods and treats, allowing you to choose the option that suits you and your dog best. No matter what formula you decide on, rest assured it is wheat, soy, and corn-free, yet full of healthy and wholesome ingredients.
(PDF) The role of dietary omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in the nutrition of dogs and cats: A review (researchgate.net)
Can Dogs Eat Peas? – American Kennel Club (akc.org)
Ethoxyquin: An Antioxidant Used in Animal Feed (hindawi.com)
Feeding your dog salmon can boost its brain power, study finds | London Evening Standard | Evening Standard
Utilisation of supplemented l-carnitine for fuel efficiency, as an antioxidant, and for muscle recovery in Labrador retrievers (nih.gov)
Cats is saying goodbye to Broadway. The revival of the feline-filled Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will play its final performance at the Neil Simon Theatre on Dec. 30. It will have played 16 previews and 593 regular performances. Is CATS on Broadway 2021?
You can watch Cats: The Musical online on the Veoh website. The entire musical has been uploaded, but I would advise that it's against the law for people to distribute media content without permission. Basically, watching films on these types of sites is piracy, and it's not a great thing to get involved with.
What to Expect at a Cat ShowVetting In. When you arrive, the first thing you will need to do is join a queue to see the vet, who will check that your cat is healthy.Settling Your Cat in her Pen. ...The Judging. ...Returning to the Hall. ...Finding Out the Results. ...Best in Show. ...
As if our cats would let us get away with forgetting that. With that in mind, those of us took a trip into the RGtCG Archives this past week, pawing through memorable moments of some of those who have strayed into our lives ... seen us do it, she pawed ...
15-05-2020 · Cats will be streamed on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s YouTube channel, The Shows Must Go On, tonight at 7pm BST. It will be available to watch for 24 hours in the UK and 48 hours elsewhere. Meanwhile, the successful series, which has so far seen millions of weekly viewers, is expected to continue every Friday.
15 May 2020, 10:15
As the world’s theatres remain closed, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been serving up a free musical stream on YouTube every week. Tonight, it’s the 1998 stage production of ‘Cats’ starring Elaine Paige...
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is the latest musical to stream on YouTube for free, tonight on Friday 15 May.
Cats became an instant hit with audiences following its premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981. Running for a spectacular 21 years, it’s the sixth-longest running West End show in musical theatre history.
Alongside tonight’s live stream, Lloyd Webber will be providing a free live commentary, inviting fans to submit questions which he will be answering throughout. Find out below how to watch the musical on YouTube tonight!
Read more: Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals for free during coronavirus closures >
Cats will be streamed on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s YouTube channel, The Shows Must Go On, tonight at 7pm BST.
It will be available to watch for 24 hours in the UK and 48 hours elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the successful series, which has so far seen millions of weekly viewers, is expected to continue every Friday.
Read more: Facts about Andrew Lloyd Webber including his musicals and net worth >
Cats is a mysterious tale following the Jellicles, a tribe of kooky cats who must decide which feline in the group will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.
The iconic 1999 cast includes English singer and actress Elaine Paige (Evita, Chess, Sunset Boulevard) who plays the ‘Memory’-singing glamour cat, Grizabella.
She’s joined by actor and TV presenter John Partridge, who stars as Rum Tum Tugger; veteran Broadway performer, Jacob Brent, as Mr. Mistoffelees; Jason Gardiner as Alonzo; and Sir John Mills as Gus – along with the show’s mighty eighty-piece orchestra.
Read more: ’Phantom’ orchestra records ‘All I Ask of You’ for Lloyd Webber >
The most famous song in Cats is undoubtedly the power ballad ‘Memory’, which is sung in Act I by Grizabella.
Other hits in Lloyd Webber’s soundtrack include ‘The Jellicle Ball’ and ‘Old Deuteronomy’, while upbeat tune ‘Mr. Mistoffelees’ (written for the black-and-white tuxedo tom of the same name) appears in Act II.
In 2019, many of the songs featured in Tom Hooper’s twisted 2019 movie adaptation of Cats, along with pop icon Taylor Swift’s ‘Beautiful Ghosts’, which received a nomination for Best Original Song at the 77th Golden Globe Awards.
Watch Cats tonight via YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On at 7pm BST.
14-12-2021 · Cats is a 2019 musical fantasy film based on the 1981 Tony Award-winning stage musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which in turn was based on the poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) by T. S. Eliot.The film was directed by Tom Hooper, in his second feature musical following Les Misérables (2012), from a screenplay by Lee Hall and Hooper.
2019 film by Tom Hooper
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTom HooperScreenplay by
Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot
CinematographyChristopher RossEdited byMelanie Ann OliverMusic byAndrew Lloyd Webber
Working Title Films
Perfect World Pictures
The Really Useful Group
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
December 16, 2019 (2019-12-16) (Alice Tully Hall)
December 20, 2019 (2019-12-20) (United Kingdom and United States)
Cats is a 2019 musical fantasy film based on the 1981 stage musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which in turn was based on the poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) by T. S. Eliot. The film was directed by Tom Hooper, in his second feature musical following Les Misérables (2012), from a screenplay by Lee Hall and Hooper. It features an ensemble cast, including James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and Francesca Hayward.
Filming for Cats took place from December 2018 to April 2019. It was theatrically released in the United Kingdom and the United States on December 20, 2019, by Universal Pictures. The film was significantly panned by critics, who criticised its visual effects, editing, cat design, acting performances, plot and screenplay, although some critics praised Swift's performance, certain visual aspects (particularly the production design), and the soundtrack, as well as Hudson's rendition of "Memory". It is considered by some to be one of the worst films ever made. The film was also a box-office bomb, grossing million on a budget of –100 million, and is estimated to have lost Universal Pictures at least 4 million.
Victoria, a young white cat, is left abandoned by her owner in the streets of London in the middle of the night. The alley cats witnessing this introduce themselves to her as the "Jellicles". Two toms, meek magician Mr. Mistoffelees and the loyal Munkustrap, and two queens, the snooty Cassandra and Demeter, take Victoria under their wing and show her the world of the Jellicles as they prepare for the Jellicle Ball, an annual ceremony where cats compete to be chosen to go to the Heaviside Layer and be granted a new life.
Throughout the film, the Jellicle Ball competitors are introduced and sing about themselves: the characters include Jennyanydots, a domestic tabby, who boosts the productivity of mice and roaches; the Rum Tum Tugger, a flirtatious tom who riles up the others; Bustopher Jones, a bourgeois cat who boasts about his weight and shares food scraps from the garbage; Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat, a tidy ginger cat who tap dances and supervises the operation of a train; Gus, an aged theatrical cat who has played some of the biggest roles in history; and Macavity, a notorious criminal capable of apparating. Macavity kidnaps the other contestants (save for Tugger) so that he can be made the Jellicle Choice by default.
Victoria also happens to meet the mischievous twins Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, who enjoy causing trouble and messing with things in the house of their human family. They convince Victoria to join in the fun but leave her tangled up in some necklaces when the family dog is alerted to their presence. Luckily, Mr. Mistoffelees comes to rescue Victoria, distracting the dog and escaping with her. They return to the group, just in time for the arrival of the tribe's wise and beloved matriarch Old Deuteronomy. The Jellicle Ball commences inside the abandoned Egyptian Theatre. Victoria dances a ballet solo in the moonlight but is distracted by Cassandra harassing Grizabella, a former member of the tribe who was banished for, among other things, her past allegiance with Macavity. Victoria relates to Grizabella's feelings of abandonment. As Grizabella slinks away into the streets, Old Deuteronomy witnesses their quiet camaraderie and assures Victoria that she can become a Jellicle herself in time.
Femme fatale Bombalurina interrupts the Ball, distracting the Jellicles present with a song and dance number praising Macavity and simultaneously incapacitating them with catnip. When Macavity arrives and demands to be made the Jellicle Choice, Old Deuteronomy deems him unworthy and is subsequently kidnapped and placed with Macavity's other victims. As the Jellicles recuperate, distraught over their leader's disappearance, Victoria suggests that Mr. Mistoffelees use his powers to conjure Old Deuteronomy back. He tries several times, eventually making Old Deuteronomy reappear. The cats rejoice and praise Mr. Mistoffelees; he and Victoria dance together. Meanwhile, a thwarted Macavity and Bombalurina apparate away from his victims, who begin to free themselves via Jennyanydots' costume change. Macavity leaves his lackey, Growltiger, to walk the plank defenseless against the emancipated cats.
Grizabella returns to the Egyptian. Victoria vouches for her and urges her to sing her true feelings. Grizabella proceeds to sing a passionate ballad about her mistakes, her former glory, and her beauty, sentiments that touch the hearts of the Jellicles. Old Deuteronomy names Grizabella the Jellicle Choice and sends her off to the Heaviside Layer in a chandelier (repaired by Mr. Mistoffelees' magic to float like a hot air balloon). Macavity, in one last attempt to reach the Heaviside Layer, leaps onto a rope from the chandelier but falls onto Nelson's Column. The Jellicles, reunited with their kidnapped brethren, and perched on a lion statue, watch Grizabella ascend as the morning sun appears above the horizon. After the congregation disperses, Old Deuteronomy welcomes Victoria to the tribe.
Francesca Hayward as Victoria the White Cat
Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy
Idris Elba as Macavity the Mystery Cat
Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella the Glamour Cat
Laurie Davidson as Mr. Mistoffelees
Robbie Fairchild as Munkustrap
Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots the Gumbie Cat
James Corden as Bustopher Jones
Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger
Ian McKellen as Gus "Asparagus" the Theatre Cat
Taylor Swift as Bombalurina
Steven McRae as Skimbleshanks
Danny Collins as Mungojerrie
Naoimh Morgan as Rumpleteazer
Ray Winstone as Growltiger
Mette Towley as Cassandra
Daniela Norman as Demeter
Les Twins as Plato and Socrates
Jaih Betote as Coricopat
Jonadette Carpio as Jemima
Bluey Robinson as Alonzo
Freya Rowley as Jellylorum
Ida Saki as Electra
Zizi Strallen as Tantomile
Eric Underwood as Admetus
Cory English as Maître D'
An animated film adaptation based on the musical was initially planned by Amblimation in the 1990s, but was abandoned with the studio's closure. In December 2013, Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator and composer of the musical stage production Cats, teased that Universal Pictures, which had purchased the film rights to Cats many years earlier, was putting the project into active development.
In February 2016, it was reported that Tom Hooper was in negotiations to direct the film, and was considering actresses, including Suki Waterhouse, to star. In May 2016, Hooper was confirmed as director.
In January 2018, Hooper and Working Title began officially casting for the film, while looking into the technical aspect of whether the film would be entirely live-action or computer generated, with Lloyd Webber announcing he would be writing a new song for the film adaptation. On October 24, 2019, it was announced that the new song was titled "Beautiful Ghosts", written by Lloyd Webber and Taylor Swift. The song was sung by Francesca Hayward, followed later in a reprise by Judi Dench, with a credits version sung by Swift. The version sung by Swift was released on November 15, 2019.
In June 2018, there were reports Anne Hathaway was considered for a role in the film, but she passed due to scheduling conflict.Hugh Jackman was also offered a role by Hooper, but turned it down. In July 2018, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, and Ian McKellen joined the cast. Swift had previously tested for the role of Éponine in Tom Hooper's Les Misérables but was given the part of Bombalurina without an audition.
In September 2018, Laurie Davidson and Mette Towley were cast, with Steven Spielberg announced to be executive producing. In October 2018, Idris Elba and Judi Dench joined the cast of the film. Dench was cast in the original stage musical, but had been forced to pull out due to a torn Achilles tendon; Lloyd Webber and Hooper decided to make Old Deuteronomy a female cat and offered her the role.
In November 2018, ballet dancers Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae as well as Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, and Robert Fairchild joined the cast of the film with rehearsals commencing at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, England.Andy Blankenbuehler choreographed the film, after Wayne McGregor was forced to back out due to scheduling conflicts. Blankenbuehler also choreographed the stage musical's 2016 Broadway revival. In December 2018, Les Twins and Eric Underwood joined the cast.
Principal photography began on December 12, 2018, and wrapped on April 2, 2019. Swift said that the cast attended "cat school", in which "We would literally do hours on end of barefoot crawling on the floor, hissing at each other. We learned about cat instincts and the way they carry themselves and the way that they process information, the way they see the world, the way they move."
Main article: Cats: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Music for the film was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber with contributions from producer Greg Wells, who was initially brought in after production in mid-2019. The recordings were created partly at Abbey Road Studios with contributions from the London Symphony Orchestra. Wells also played a number of instruments on the music himself, including the drums, pipe organ, bass guitar and Abbey Road's fabled Mrs Mills piano, used in Beatles songs such as "Penny Lane" and "With a Little Help from My Friends".
A "highlights" edition of the soundtrack with a running time of 59 minutes was released on December 20, 2019, by Polydor Records and in the US by Republic Records. The song "Beautiful Ghosts" by Taylor Swift, a single from the soundtrack album, was released on November 15, 2019.
Less than two months before the film was scheduled to be released in theatres, production was still ongoing for the music in the film.
"Overture"/"Prologue: Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" – Orchestra/Company
"The Naming of Cats"/"The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball" – Munkustrap, Mr. Mistoffelees & Company
"Jennyanydots: The Old Gumbie Cat" – Jennyanydots, Munkustrap & Company
"The Rum Tum Tugger" – Rum Tum Tugger, Jennyanydots & Company
"Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" – Grizabella, Cassandra, Demeter & Company
"Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town" – Bustopher, Rum Tum Tugger, Maitre D' & Company
"Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" – Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer & Victoria
"Growltiger's Last Stand" – Growltiger
"Old Deuteronomy" – Munkustrap, Old Deuteronomy & Company
"The Jellicle Ball" – Company
"Memory (Prelude)"/"Beautiful Ghosts" – Grizabella & Victoria
"The Moments of Happiness" – Old Deuteronomy
"Gus: The Theatre Cat" – Gus
"Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat" – Skimbleshanks, Munkustrap & Company
"Macavity: The Mystery Cat" – Bombalurina, Macavity, Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer, Griddlebone & Company
"Mr. Mistoffelees" – Mistoffelees, Munkustrap & Company
"Memory" – Grizabella & Victoria
"Beautiful Ghosts (Reprise)" – Victoria & Old Deuteronomy
"The Journey to the Heaviside Layer" – Company
"Finale: The Ad-Dressing of Cats" – Old Deuteronomy & Company
Cats uses extensive visual effects throughout to convert the live-action actors to computer-animated cats. However, during the production process, the film was originally going to include makeup effects and costume design with fur for the characters. Hooper had experimented with using prosthetics to create the look of the cats due to the then-prohibitive costs of visual effects, but the director was dissatisfied, feeling that "[Y]ou ended up with full-faced prosthetics where you lost so much emotion. [...] So all the paths seemed to lead me back to visual effects." Other reasons of changing visual direction was due to difficulties for most actors and dancers when testing the catsuits, giving much heat and sweat during rehearsals.
When production moved to digital options, companies like Technicolor SA subsidiaries Mill Film and MPC joined in for the visual effects. To aid this, the actors performed in motion capture suits with tracking dots on their costumes and faces. The bodies of the cat characters were rendered with digital fur which was blended with the actors' actual faces.
Substantial work on the VFX for Cats was performed at MPC Vancouver, which had previously worked on re-doing the visual effects for Sonic the Hedgehog. A report by The Daily Beast revealed a troubled production, where sources within one of the VFX studios reported the staff was working 80–90 hour weeks to try and finish the effects by the release date while Hooper would send them denigrating emails about their work and insult them during conferences. This was additionally complicated by Hooper's lack of familiarity with the visual effects process and animation as a whole, where the director would demand entire complete renders be made at great cost or that real-life references of cats be used for every movement. The team spent six months producing the film's two-minute trailer, leaving just four months to finish the entire 110 minute film. The film's visuals were completed just hours before its premiere.
At the 92nd Academy Awards, Corden and Wilson appeared in character as Bustopher Jones and Jennyanydots, mocking the film's CGI while presenting Best Visual Effects. This led to criticism from the production's VFX animators, many of whom were laid off when MPC Vancouver closed following the film's production, as well as condemnation by the Visual Effects Society, an organization representing the VFX industry.
On April 6, 2019, Jennifer Hudson performed "Memory" at the Las Vegas CinemaCon, along with a behind-the-scenes look with the film's cast and crew. On July 17, 2019, Universal released a behind-the-scenes featurette detailing the various aspects of the film's production and featuring interviews with the cast and crew.
The first trailer for the film was released on July 18, 2019, and received overwhelmingly negative reactions from viewers. Many viewers were unsettled by the mix of CGI and live-action used to portray the cats, and cited the effects as an example of the uncanny valley, with some comparing it unfavourably to the design of Sonic in the first trailer of the then-upcoming film Sonic the Hedgehog, which sparked similar criticism that ultimately resulted in the character being redesigned and the film being delayed. The studio spent about 5 million on global promotions and advertisements for the film.
The film premiered at Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York City on December 16, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom and United States on December 20, 2019.
CGI errors and modified release
The film's original release contained numerous CGI errors and glitches, such as one scene in which Judi Dench's human hand, complete with her wedding ring, appears instead of Old Deuteronomy's cat paw. After poor reviews, Universal notified cinemas on opening day that an updated Digital Cinema Package with "some improved visual effects" would be available for download on 22 December, urging them to replace the current print as soon as possible. Studio executives and cinema owners said that the decision to release a modified version of a film already in wide release was "unheard of".
Cats was released digitally on March 17, 2020 and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on April 7 in the United States. The film was released on April 29, 2020 in Australia and on June 1, 2020 in the United Kingdom.
Cats grossed .2 million in the United States and Canada, and .4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of .6 million against a production budget of about million.Deadline Hollywood calculated the net loss of the film to be 3.6million.
In the United States and Canada, Cats was initially projected to gross –20 million in its opening weekend. Universal hoped that the film would appeal to young women as counterprogramming against Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and emphasized Swift in marketing; however, she did not heavily promote the film to her fans, as she only appeared for one song. After making .6 million on its opening day (including 0,000 from Thursday night previews), estimates for Cats were lowered to million. Ultimately, the film only debuted to .5 million, finishing fourth at the box office. The poor performance was attributed to negative reception of the trailers, poor reviews, and competition from The Rise of Skywalker.
In its second weekend, Cats made .8 million (for a total of .7 million over the five-day Christmas period), finishing in eighth place. It then made .6 million in its third weekend, finishing tenth.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 19% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 328 reviews, with an average rating of 3.9/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery." On review aggregator Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 32 out of 100 based on 51 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C " on an A to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 0.5 out of 5 stars, with 30% saying they would definitely recommend it. In June 2021 editorial titled "Rotten Tomatoes is Wrong about Cats" they asked if the film was shaping up to be a "cult classic in the making".
Peter Debruge of Variety called the film "one of those once-in-a-blue-moon embarrassments that mars the résumés of great actors (poor Idris Elba, already scarred enough as the villainous Macavity) and trips up the careers of promising newcomers (like ballerina Francesca Hayward, whose wide-eyed, mouth-agape Victoria displays one expression for the entire movie)." He criticized the direction and effects, and predicted that the film would appeal to furries, though many furries also found the effects disturbing. David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter felt that the film was "hobbled by a major misjudgment in its central visual concept" lamenting its execution (such as the poor proportions of the "cats" to their environments) and deeming the film "exhausting."Peter Travers of Rolling Stone rated the film 0 out of 5 stars, stating it was "bizarre," had terrible special effects and made the audience "want to cry for mercy," while Hooper "traps the actors in an airless, lifeless bubble of a film that scarcely gives them room to breathe, much less develop a character."
In the Los Angeles Times, Justin Chang wrote that "With its grotesque design choices and busy, metronomic editing, Cats is as uneasy on the eyes as a Hollywood spectacle can be, tumbling into an uncanny valley between mangy realism and dystopian artifice". Debruge said that the film should have used "face paint and Lycra" like the musical. Simran Hans of The Observer agreed that "many of its uncanny images are sure to haunt viewers for generations." Her one-star review described the film as "a clear career low" for most of the actors, wondering whether they "are aware of what they've gotten themselves into."Peter Bradshaw for The Guardian agreed with the one-star rating. In a review parodying "The Naming of Cats," he criticized the visual style and particularly the character design, while lambasting the film as a "dreadful hairball of woe."Manohla Dargis of The New York Times felt that Hooper had made "a robust effort" to adapt the stage musical—which "was always going to be difficult, particularly once the decision was made to create a live-action version rather than an animated one"—and "enlisted some talented performers," but that the film version suffered from a lack of the human connection that theatre involves, where performers and audience share a space, without which "all that's left are canned images of fit-looking people meowing and raising their rumps high in the air."
The Hollywood Reporter named Cats one of the ten worst films of 2019, Travers said it "easily scores as the bottom of the 2019 barrel—and arguably of the decade," and Adam Graham of The Detroit News said "Cats is the biggest disaster of the decade, and possibly thus far in the millennium. It's Battlefield Earth with whiskers." Alex Cranz of io9 warned "I have seen sights no human should see" but said others "must witness" Hooper's, the actors', and Hollywood's hubris, citing a human being appearing in a group of cats, a cat-coloured woman without fur, and other examples of how "the shit's just not finished."Ty Burr of The Boston Globe's half-star review said "there are moments in 'Cats' I would gladly pay to unsee" and warned small children to not watch the film. He reported that the preview audience laughed like the reaction to Springtime for Hitler during Dench's "The Ad-dressing of Cats", because each pause in her lyrics seemed to be the end of the film ("at long last") before continuing. Patrick Gibbs of SLUG Magazine said that "There is not enough kitty litter in the world to cover up this mess."
Pete Hammond of Deadline complimented Taylor Swift's performance as Bombalurina and her signature "Macavity" number, as well as "Beautiful Ghosts", which she wrote along with Lloyd Webber. Critic Guy Lodge called Swift "the best thing in the film" and "the one performer who completely hits their marks and pulls off the lone successful number," while critic Rebecca Lewis described Swift's performance as "one of the few genuinely good parts of the film." Patrick Ryan of USA Today stated that Swift "makes the most of her brief screen time, bringing her unabating charisma to the flirtatious feline ... if there's one thing that's disappointing about Swift's performance, it's that there isn't more of it." Hans said that she was the only actor "who seems to be having fun, perhaps because she only appears in the film for approximately 10 minutes." Jennifer Hudson similarly received praise for her rendition of "Memory", with some critics describing it as "the best part" of the film and "the sole musical number in the new movie that summons real feeling."
Lloyd Webber himself was critical of the film, calling it "ridiculous" in an interview with The Sunday Times, saying, "The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show." He later revealed in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that "I wrote to the head of Universal and said, 'You've got a car crash on your hands unless you get a grip on this thing', a year before they made (it). I didn't even get a reply." In a 2021 interview with Variety, Lloyd Webber claimed his negative reaction to the film had even directly inspired him to adopt a Havanese dog.
Rich Juzwiak of Jezebel predicted in early January 2020 that Cats might become a cult classic like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, noting that costumed screenings in Brooklyn and sing-along screenings in Toronto and Los Angeles were selling out. As of February 2020[update], Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre, Coolidge Corner Theatre near Boston, and FilmScene in Iowa City are among notable small theaters showing Cats. Coolidge Corner gives Rocky Horror-like viewing instructions to audiences at its monthly showings.
On 26 December 2019, it was reported that Universal had removed Cats from its For Your Consideration web page. The film was not available on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' private streaming media platform for award contenders.
Awards and nominations for Cats
Date of ceremony
Campiest Flick of the Year
Golden Globe Awards
January 5, 2020
Best Original Song
"Beautiful Ghosts" – Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Golden Schmoes Awards
Worst Movie of the Year
Golden Raspberry Awards
March 16, 2020
Debra Hayward, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Tom Hooper
Worst Supporting Actor
Worst Supporting Actress
Worst Screen Combo
Any two half-feline/half-human hairballs
Jason Derulo and his CGI-neutered "bulge"
Lee Hall and Tom Hooper; Based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which was based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot
Golden Reel Awards
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Musical for Feature Film
John Warhurst, Nina Hartstone, Victor Chaga, Cecile Tournesac and James Shirley
March 14, 2021
Best Song Written for Visual Media
"Beautiful Ghosts" – Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Best Global Film Theme Song
"Beautiful Ghosts" – Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
May 2, 2020
Favorite Movie Actress
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Cats at IMDb
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cats_(2019_film)&oldid=1060321019"
Cats: Directed by David Mallet. With Elaine Paige, John Mills, Ken Page, Rosemarie Ford. "Jellicle" cats join for a Jellicle ball where they rejoice with their leader, Old Deuteronomy. One cat will be chosen to go to the "Heavyside Layer" and be reborn. The cats introduce themselves.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS, the most famous musical of all time, first exploded onto the West End stage in 1981. 'Memory', one of its many classic songs, became an instant worldwide hit. Since then CATS has smashed records and conquered the world. Using the latest technology, all the excitement, thrill, romance and intimacy of this theatrical legend has been captured on screen. Breathtaking visuals and full digital sound (that has been completely re-recorded with a seventy piece orchestra) will leave you deep into the mysterious world of CATS as you've never seen it before - more intoxicating and magical than you could possibly imagine. With a star cast including Elaine Paige and Sir John Mills. —Anonymous
By what name was Cats (1998) officially released in India in English?
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