The record-breaking musical spectacular by ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER that has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages is back on Broadway!
Based on T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the show is set amongst a larger- than-life junkyard playground and is alive with our favourite feline characters including Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees, Macavity, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy, Grizabella and Skimbleshanks.
The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year – the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.
“Cats” is full of catchy pop tunes many of us have known for decades. Webber’s songs don’t have the tightest of melodies, but I’ll take “Cats” over “School of Rock” any day. As a wistful recollection, “Cats” is guaranteed to leave you feline groovy—it’s here now, though I wouldn’t bet on it lasting forever.
The world can safely be divided into two camps: people who love Cats and those who hate it. The former will be happily satisfied by the new revival reuniting many members of the original creative team (with one notable exception), returning to Broadway 16 years after the closing of the show’s record-breaking original 18-year run. As for the latter, this slightly scaled-down and rejiggered version is unlikely to change their minds.
Forever has resumed on Broadway. The original production of Cats, which billboarded the slogan “Cats. Now and Forever,” paused the forever part on September 10, 2000. Guess what! The pause is over. Forever is rolling on, at the Neil Simon Theatre. And if the producers don’t mind a new slogan suggestion, they might try “Cats. Now and Better Than Ever.”
I make the offer because, although I recall the earlier incarnation very well—I watched and listened to it in London and New York—I don’t remember every minute. I’m convinced, however, that the revival, again directed by Trevor Nunn, is absolutely as entertaining as initially it was. It may only be my overworking imagination, but I also have the impression that new choreographer, Tony-winning Andy (Hamilton) Blankenbuehler, has been respectfully true to Gillian Lynne’s seminal work while beautifully enhancing it.