Cats the award-winning musical, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and other poems by T. S. Eliot. Cats the musical has been performed all over the world in a large number of productions and has been translated into more than 20 languages. It won seven 1983 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Lighting and Best Costumes.
Cats the musical, was one of the longest-running musicals on Broadway and London’s West End, having traveled across Asia with more than 400 performances in 20 venues spanning Taiwan, China, Thailand and Korea. ‘Cats’ later traveled to Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Cats the musical was the first of the mega-musicals and ran for 18 years on Broadway and kept the title of the longest running show in Broadway history until early on 2006, when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s own ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ surpassed Cats record. For over ten years, Cats has remained the longest running, continuously touring show in North America and has also been seen in 26 countries on five continents.
Cats the musical opened up at the New London Theatre in the West End on May 11, 1981. Eight years later on the show celebrated its first significant milestone: after 3,358 performances Cats became the longest running musical in the history of British theatre. It played its final performance on its 21st birthday, May 11, 2002.
It opened on Broadway October 7, 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City and carried on to live up to its motto “Now and Forever.” On June 19, 1997, Cats became the longest running musical on Broadway. It ended its 18 year run on September 10, 2000.
The musical tells the story of a group of London felines, known as Jellicle cats. Once a year, they gather to celebrate as their elderly leader, Old Deuteronomy chooses one of them to go to the Heavyside Layer, after which they are reborn as a new, young Jellicle. The most deserving is the elderly Grizabella, who was a revered beauty in her youth, but is now rejected by the majority of the Jellicles. Meanwhile, they also face the terror set upon them by the evil Macavity. In between, audience members meet a variety of entertaining Jellicles, such as a kitten with magical powers, a pair of acrobatic thieves, and an Elvis-like rock star of a cat.