Cats (musical)


Music Andrew Lloyd Webber
Basis Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
by T. S. Eliot
Premiere May 11, 1981 (1981-05-11): New London Theatre, London, England, U.K.

1981 West End
1982 Broadway
International productions
2014 West End revival
2015 West End revival
2016 UK & International Tour

2016 Broadway revival
Awards 1981 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical
1983 Tony Award for Best Musical

Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. Cats introduced the song standard "Memory". The first performance of Cats was in 1981.

Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, Cats first opened in the West End in 1981 and then with the same creative team on Broadway in 1982. It won numerous awards, including Best Musical at both the Laurence Olivier Awards and the Tony Awards. The London production ran for twenty-one years and the Broadway production ran for eighteen years, both setting new records. Actresses Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley became particularly associated with the musical. One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed in the Broadway production for its entire run (from 1982 until 2000).

As of 2016, Cats is the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history, and was the longest running Broadway show in history from 1997 to 2006 when it was surpassed by The Phantom of the Opera. Cats is the fourth-longest-running West End musical. It has been performed around the world many times and has been translated into more than 20 languages. In 1998, Cats was turned into a made-for-television film.

Production history

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the production of Cats is based on T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), which the composer recalled as having been a childhood favorite. The songs of the musical comprise Eliot's verse set to music by the composer, the principal exception being the most famous song from the musical, "Memory", for which the lyrics were written by Trevor Nunn after an Eliot poem entitled "Rhapsody on a Windy Night". Also, a brief song entitled "The Moments of Happiness" was taken from a passage in Eliot's Four Quartets. Andrew Lloyd Webber began composing the songs in late 1977 and premiered the compositions at the Sydmonton Festival in 1980. The concert was attended by T.S. Eliot's wife, Valerie Eliot and she loved the songs that Webber had composed. She gave her blessing for the songs to be adapted into a musical stage play. Rehearsals for the musical began in early 1981 at the New London Theatre. Due to the Eliot estate asserting that they write no script and only use the original poems as the text, the musical had no identified plot during the rehearsal process, causing many actors to be confused about what they were actually doing. An unusual musical in terms of its construction, the overture incorporates a fugue and there are occasions when the music accompanies spoken verse. The show is completely told through music with virtually no spoken dialogue in between the songs. Dance is also a key element in the musical especially during the 10-minute Jellicle Ball dance sequence. The set, consisting of an oversized junk yard, remains the same throughout the show without any scene changes. Lloyd Webber's eclecticism is very strong here; musical genres range from classical to pop, music hall, jazz, rock and electro-acoustic music as well as hymn-like songs such as "The Addressing of Cats".

Cats premiered in the West End at the New London Theatre on May 11, 1981. There was trouble initially as Judi Dench, cast in the role of Grizabella, snapped her Achilles tendon during rehearsals prior to the London opening. She was replaced by Elaine Paige. The musical was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, directed by Trevor Nunn, with associate director and choreographer Gillian Lynne, design by John Napier, and lighting by David Hersey. The conductor was Harry Rabinowicz. It played a total of 8,949 performances in London. Its final performance in London's West End was on its 21st birthday, 11 May 2002, and broadcast on a large screen in Covent Garden to the delight of fans who could not acquire a ticket for the final performance. It held the record as London's longest running musical until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by Les Misérables.

The original 1981 London cast of Cats

The show made its debut on Broadway on 7 October 1982, at the Winter Garden Theatre with the same production team. On 19 June 1997, Cats became the longest-running musical in Broadway history with 6,138 performances. It closed on 10 September 2000, after a total of 7,485 performances. Its Broadway record was surpassed on 9 January 2006 by The Phantom of the Opera. It remains Broadway's fourth-longest-running show in history. Lloyd Webber stated that when the original show was produced, it cost £900,000, but on Broadway, it cost $5,000,000.[1]

In 1998, Lloyd Webber produced a video version of Cats, based upon the stage version, starring Elaine Paige, who originated the role of Grizabella in London; Ken Page, who originated Old Deuteronomy on Broadway; Sir John Mills as Gus; Michael Gruber as Munkustrap; John Partridge as The Rum Tum Tugger; Jo Gibb as Rumpelteazer with many of the dancers and singers drawn largely from various stage productions of the show.[2] It was directed by David Mallet, with choreography and musical staging by the show's respected original creator Gillian Lynne in London's Adelphi Theatre, and was released on VHS and DVD, as well as broadcast on television worldwide. Andrew Lloyd Webber and others on the production team for the film wanted to keep the feeling that viewers watching the film could still get the sense of seeing the show live, by having all views be facing the stage, therefore, getting multiple views of the set, with several close-ups. Beyond the productions in England, the US, Canada, and Australia, the musical has been produced professionally in Hungary, Austria, and Japan, 1983; Sydney and Toronto, 1985; Germany, 1986; France, 1989; Mexico, 1991; Netherlands, 1992; Argentina, 1993; Hong Kong, 1994; Spain, 2003; Poland and Czech Republic, 2004; Russia and Estonia, 2005; Israel, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, China and Finland, 2007; Singapore, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, China, Italy, Bulgaria and Japan, 2009; and Brazil and the Philippines, 2010. Cats has been translated into over 20 languages.[3]

It was announced on 3 August 2012 that a UK tour of the show will open on 9 February 2013, at the Edinburgh Playhouse.[4]

Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools celebrated their 25th anniversary by performing Cats in the Birmingham National Indoor Arena on 24 March 2013.[5] In association with 'The Really Useful Group', 3500 children from across Europe joined together with a virtual choir of many international Stagecoach students, and produced the largest production of the musical yet. 35 Stagecoach franchises across the UK performed the show on 7 'stages' around the arena, with each school taking it in turns to portray a small section of the musical. In addition to this, 52 selected elite dancers, including 14 solo dancers who took the named parts, performed the whole musical on a raised stage in the centre of the arena. The Really Useful Group, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Veronica Bennetts, Stephanie Manuel and Paul Leddington Wright all contributed and collaborated to bring this production together.

From 21 August through 11 September 2013, the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival (Auburn, NY) staged a production of the show with Taylor Dayne as Grizabella, KC Fredericks as Mr. Mistoffelees, Patrick Mellen as Old Deuteronomy, and Adam Ryan Tackett as Rum Tum Tugger.[6] Jacob Brent directed and choreographed the production.

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 record-breaking cast included Marina Prior as Grizabella.[7]

Royal Caribbean International announced in April 2014 that a fully licensed production of Cats will be performed regularly for guests aboard the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas beginning in fall 2014.[8]

It was announced on 27 June 2014 that "Cats" will be returning to London from December 2014 for a 12-week run at the London Palladium following the UK national tour with the original creative team featuring direction from Trevor Nunn, choreography by Gillian Lynne and design by John Napier.[9] The run was later extended through April 2015.[10] Along with this Andrew Lloyd Webber would be rewriting a number of songs from the musical. Speaking on the revival, Lloyd Webber himself said, "we wanted to do Cats again ourselves, then the Palladium came up and Trevor fell in love with it. We’re taking the Cats show that’s touring and working on it afresh." The musical returned to the London Palladium for a run lasting from 23 October 2015 to 2 January 2016 starring Beverley Knight as Grizabella.[11][12]

On January 21, 2016, it was announced that Cats would be revived on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre.[13] Performances began July 14, with an official opening on July 31, 2016.[14] Principal casting was announced May 9, 2016.[15] According to Lloyd Webber, Nicole Scherzinger, who played Grizabella in the 2014 West End revival, agreed to reprise the role on Broadway. However, she backed out before rehearsals began due to her desire to return as a judge on The X Factor.[16] On May 26, 2016, it was announced that British pop star Leona Lewis would play Grizabella in the Broadway revival.[17] In October 2016, Mamie Parris replaced Lewis as Grizabella.[18]


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, the Cats gather on stage and explain the Jellicle tribe and its purpose ("Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats"). The Cats (who break the fourth wall throughout the production) then notice that they are being watched by a man, and proceed to explain how the different Cats of the tribe are named ("The Naming of Cats"). This is followed by a dance from Victoria the White Cat that signals the beginning of the Jellicle Ball ("The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball"). Munkustrap (the wise second-in-command of the Jellicle tribe) explains that tonight, the Jellicle leader, Old Deuteronomy will choose a cat to be reborn into a new life on the Heaviside Layer.

Munkustrap introduces Jennyanydots ("The Old Gumbie Cat"), a large tabby cat. She "sits and sits and sits and sits" all day, while at night she teaches the mice and cockroaches various activities. Jennyanydots finishes her song and greets the other cats, but is interrupted. The music changes suddenly and The Rum Tum Tugger makes an extravagant entrance ("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".

As Rum Tum Tugger's song fades, a shabby old grey cat stumbles out and looks around; it is Grizabella. All the Cats back away from her in fear and disgust and sing of 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", appears ("Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town"). Bustopher Jones is among the elite of the cats, and visits prestigious gentlemen's clubs. A loud crash then startles the tribe and the Cats run off the stage in fright. Hushed giggling signals the entrance of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, a pair of near-identical Cats. They are petty burglars, very mischievous, and they enjoy causing trouble for human families ("Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer").

Finally, the Jellicle patriarch, Old Deuteronomy, appears ("Old Deuteronomy"). He is a large old Cat that "has lived many lives" and "buried nine wives (And more, I am tempted to say—ninety-nine)". He is the Cat who will choose which Jellicle Cat will go to the Heaviside Layer. Now that their leader is here, the cats put on a play ("The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles") for Old Deuteronomy. It is a story about two dog tribes clashing in the street and subsequently being scared away by the Great Rumpus Cat, a cat with flashing red eyes. After a few words from Old Deuteronomy on the destiny of Jellicle Cats and Pollicle Dogs, a second loud crash, presumably from Macavity, sends the alarmed Cats scurrying. Old Deuteronomy calls the Cats back and the main celebration begins ("The Jellicle Ball"), in which the cats sing and display their "Terpsichorean powers".

During the Ball, Grizabella reappears and tries to dance, but her age and decrepit condition prevent her from doing so. Once again, she is shunned by the other Cats, but that does not stop her from singing a short version of "Memory'".

Act II — Why Will the Summer Day Delay — When Will Time Flow Away?

After addressing the gathering by singing "Memory", Grizabella is chosen to be reborn into a new Jellicle life.

After the Jellicle Ball, Old Deuteronomy sings of "what happiness is", referring to Grizabella. The Cats do not understand, so he repeats the message again and Jemima (or Sillabub, depending on the production) sings it for everyone to hear ("The Moments of Happiness"). Gus — short for Asparagus — shuffles forward ("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, who tells of his exploits. Gus then remembers how he once played the infamous Growltiger, the Terror of the Thames ("Growltiger's Last Stand"). He tells the story about the pirate's romance with Griddlebone and how he was overtaken by the Siamese and forced to walk the plank.

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 train, as without him "the train can't start". Within his song, a whole steam train engine is assembled out of objects in the junkyard: Various Cats spin wheels, hold up the structure, and light the headlights.

With a third crash and an evil laugh, the "most wanted" cat Macavity appears. He is a "master criminal" and is never found at the scene of the crime. Macavity's minions throw a net over Old Deuteronomy and capture him. As the other Cats try to follow him, Demeter and Bombalurina sing what they know about Macavity ("Macavity: The Mystery Cat"). When they are finished, Macavity returns disguised as Old Deuteronomy, but when Demeter blows his cover, Macavity now ends up fighting with Munkustrap and Alonzo. Though Macavity holds his own for a time, the rest of the tribe begin to gang up and surround him, but he shorts out the stage lights as an attempt to escape in the confusion.

After the fight, Rum Tum Tugger suggests that the Cats find a local magician named Mr. Mistoffelees "the original conjuring cat" for help. ("Magical Mr. Mistoffelees"). Mr. Mistoffelees is small and black and can perform feats of magic that no other Cat can do. Mr. Mistoffelees performs his dance, which is often one of the most intricate and challenging dance solos in the show. The magical Cat restores the lights and brings back Old Deuteronomy, earning praise from all the Cats. The Jellicle Choice can now be made.

After Old Deuteronomy sits down, 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 to a new Jellicle life ("Journey to the Heaviside Layer"). A large tire rises from the piles of junk, carrying Grizabella and Old Deuteronomy partway toward the sky; he then steps off so she can finish the journey on her own. Finally, Old Deuteronomy gives his closing speech to the human audience ("The Ad-dressing of Cats") and the show comes to a close.


Musical numbers

Act I
  • "Overture" – Orchestra
  • "Prologue: Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" – The Company
  • "The Naming of Cats" – The Company
  • "The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball" – Victoria, Quaxo, Munkustrap
  • "The Old Gumbie Cat" – Jennyanydots, Munkustrap, Bombalurina, Jellylorum, Demeter
  • "The Rum Tum Tugger" – Rum Tum Tugger and Company
  • "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" – Grizabella, Demeter, Bombalurina
  • "Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town" – Bustopher, Jennyanydots, Jellylorum, Bombalurina
  • "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" – Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer
  • "Old Deuteronomy" – Munkustrap, Rum Tum Tugger, Old Deuteronomy
  • "The Awefull Battle of The Pekes and the Pollicles" – Munkustrap, Rumpus Cat and Company
  • "The Song of the Jellicles" – The Company
  • "The Jellicle Ball" – Orchestra
  • "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" (Reprise) – Jellylorum and Jemima
  • "Memory (Prelude)" – Grizabella

Act II
  • "The Moments Of Happiness" – Old Deuteronomy, Jemima
  • "Gus: The Theatre Cat" – Asparagus, Jellylorum
  • "Growltiger's Last Stand" – Asparagus as Growltiger, Jellylorum as Griddlebone, and Company
  • "Gus: The Theatre Cat" (Reprise) – Asparagus
  • "Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat" – Skimbleshanks and Company
  • "Macavity: The Mystery Cat" – Demeter, Bombalurina
  • "Macavity Fight" – Macavity, Munkustrap, Alonzo
  • "Mr. Mistoffelees" – Mr. Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, and Company
  • "Jellicle Choice"/"Daylight" – Munkustrap and Jemima
  • "Memory" – Grizabella, Jemima
  • "The Journey to the Heaviside Layer" – The Company
  • "Finale: The Ad-Dressing of Cats" – Old Deuteronomy and Company


  • Reed I: Flute, Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax
  • Reed II: B-flat Clarinet, Bari Sax, Flute
  • Reed III: Oboe, English Horn
  • Horn I
  • Horn II
  • Trumpet I
  • Trumpet II
  • Trombone

  • Keyboard I
  • Keyboard II
  • Keyboard III
  • Cello
  • Electric Guitar
  • Electric Bass
  • Drum Set
  • Percussion

London Cast album

A 1981 recording of the Original London Cast was released first on LP & cassette tape and later as a two-CD set.[19] It contains the following tracks:

Disc I
  1. "The Overture"
  2. "Prologue: Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats"
  3. "The Naming of Cats"
  4. "The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball"
  5. "The Old Gumbie Cat"
  6. "The Rum Tum Tugger"
  7. "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat"
  8. "Bustopher Jones"
  9. "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer"
  10. "Old Deuteronomy"
  11. "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles
  12. "The Jellicle Ball"
  13. "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat (Reprise)"
  14. "Memory (Prelude)"

Disc II
  1. "The Moments of Happiness"
  2. "Gus: The Theatre Cat"
  3. "Growltiger's Last Stand / The Ballad of Billy McCaw"
  4. "Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat"
  5. "Macavity: The Mystery Cat"
  6. "Mr. Mistoffelees"
  7. "Memory"
  8. "The Journey to the Heaviside Layer"
  9. "The Ad-Dressing of Cats"

(Original London Cast Recording)
Cast recording by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Released 1998
Genre Show tune
Label Polydor


Principal characters

Jennyanydots (Left) and Skimbleshanks in the Polish production of Cats, December 2007.

Other characters

Etcetera (front) and Alonzo in the Polish production, December 2007.

Notable casts

Role Original London cast[21] Original Broadway cast[22] 1998 film cast[23] Broadway Revival Cast
Admetus Steven Wayne Terrence Mann Frank Thompson
Alonzo Roland Alexander Hector Jamie Mercado Jason Gardiner Ahmad Simmons
Asparagus (chorus cat)   Stephen Hanan Tony Timberlake
Bombalurina Geraldine Gardner Donna King Rosemarie Ford Christine Cornish Smith
Bustopher Jones Brian Blessed Stephen Hanan James Barron Christopher Gurr
Carbucketty Luke Baxter Steven Gelfer   Giuseppe Bausilio
Cassandra Seeta Indrani Rene Ceballos Rebecca Parker Emily Pynenburg
Coricopat Donald Waugh Rene Clemente Tommy Sliiden Corey Snide
Demeter Sharon Lee-Hill Wendy Edmead Aeva May Kim Fauré
Electra Anita Pashley Susan Powers Leah Sue Morland Lili Froehlich
Etcetera Bonnie Langford Christine Langner Jo Bingham
Exotica does not appear does not appear Femi Taylor does not appear
Genghis   Walter Charles  
George John Chester   Frank Thompson
Griddlebone Susan Jane Tanner Bonnie Simmons  
Grizabella Elaine Paige Betty Buckley Elaine Paige Leona Lewis
Grumbuskin Jeff Shankley Joel Robertson  
Gus the Theatre Cat Stephen Tate Stephen Hanan Sir John Mills Christopher Gurr
Growltiger Stephen Tate Stephen Hanan  
Jellylorum Susan Jane Tanner Bonnie Simmons Susan Jane Tanner Sara Jean Ford
Jemima Sarah Brightman Carol Richards Veerle Casteleyn
Jemima (Jr.)     Helen Massey  
Jennyanydots Myra Sands Anna McNeeley Suzie McKenna Eloise Kropp
Macavity John Thornton Kenneth Ard Bryn Walters Daniel Gaymon
Mr. Mistoffelees Graham Fletcher Timothy Scott Jacob Brent Ricky Ubeda
Mungojerrie John Thornton Rene Clemente Drew Varley Jess LeProtto
Mungojerrie (Jr.) ("James")     Paul Baker  
Munkustrap Jeff Shankley Harry Groener Michael Gruber Andy Jones
Old Deuteronomy Brian Blessed Ken Page Quentin Earl Darrington
Plato   Kenneth Ard Bryn Walters Daniel Gaymon
Pouncival   Herman W Sebek Karl Morgan Sharrod Williams
Quaxo Wayne Sleep   Jacob Brent  
Rum Tum Tugger Paul Nicholas Terrence Mann John Partridge Tyler Hanes
Rumpleteazer Bonnie Langford Christine Langner Jo Gibb Shonica Gooden
Rumpus Cat Roland Alexander Philip Baskerville Frank Thompson
Sillabub   Whitney Kershaw   Arianna Rosario
Skimbleshanks Ken Wells Reed Jones Geoffrey Garratt Jeremy Davis
Skimbleshanks (Jr.) ("Bill Bailey") Peter Barry   David Arneil
Tantomile Femi Taylor Janet Hubert-Whitten Kaye Brown Emily Tate
Tumblebrutus Roland Alexander Robert Hoshour Fergus Logan Kolton Krouse
Victoria (White Cat) Finola Hughes Cynthia Onrubia Phyllida Crowley Smith Georgina Pazcoguin

Other notable performers

Bill Bailey: Drew Varley, Fergus Logan, Michael Sundin

Coricopat: Jason Pennycooke, Richard Astbury, James Titchener

Demeter: Jo Bingham, Ruthie Henshall, Lena Hall, Anita Louise Combe

Electra: Veerle Casteleyn Kate Keenan

Griddlebone: Ruthie Henshall

Grizabella: Anita Harris, Laurie Beechman, Liz Callaway, Dee Roscioli, Lea Salonga, Paula Lima, Stephanie J. Block, Loni Ackerman, Linda Balgord, Lillias White, Joanna Ampil, Sophia Ragavelas, Nicole Scherzinger,[24] Kerry Ellis, Jane McDonald, Beverley Knight, Debra Byrne, Prisca Demarez, Delta Goodrem, Anita Louise Combe, Leona Lewis, Leslie Ellis

Jellyorum: Ruthie Henshall, Madeleine M. Gagné

Macavity/Admetus: Bryn Walters, Cameron Ball

Mistoffelees: Graham Fletcher, Louie Spence, John Partridge, Fergus Logan, Joseph Poulton, Michael Scott Gregory

Munkustrap: Gary Martin, Steven Houghton, John Partridge, Shaun Rennie, Ben Palmer

Old Deuteronomy: Bill Nolte, John Ellis, Jobin Andrews

Rum Tum Tugger: John Partridge, John O'Hara, Oliver Savile, Stephen Bienskie, Marcquelle Jermaine Ward, Jerin Andrews

Rumpus Cat/Admetus: Frank Thompson, Jason Gardiner

Rumpelteazer: Veerle Casteleyn, Jo Gibb, Leah-Sue Morland, Jo Bingham, Anita Louise Combe

Jemima/Sillabub: Anita Louise Combe, Ruthie Henshall, Helen Anker, Natasha Mould, Tarryn Gee

Skimbleshanks: Michael Scott Gregory

Tumblebrutus: Jason Wise, Michael Giacobbe

Victoria: Veerle Casteleyn, Helen Anker , Hannah Kenna Thomas, Anita Louise Combe

Other notable professional casts


Theatre Premiere Grizabella Old Deuteronomy Other roles
Hungary Budapest Madách Színház 25 March 1983 Éva Almási Balázs Póka
László Lukács
Béla Tímár, Péter Haumann, Ildikó Hűvösvölgyi, Ildikó Kishonti, Péter Cseke, Béla Szerednyei, Ilona Bencze, Béla Paudits, Mari Kiss
Austria Vienna Theater an der Wien 24 September 1983 Angelika Milster Gordon Bovinet Steve Barton, Ute Lemper, Joachim Kemmer, KrisTina Decker, Michael Reardon, Vlada Aviks, Monica Solem
United States Los Angeles Shubert Theatre 7 January 1985 Kim Criswell George Anthony Bell Mark Morales, George De La Pena, Rebecca Raider
Australia Sydney Theatre Royal, Sydney 1985 Debra Byrne John Bolton Woods Anthony O'Keefe, Grant Smith, Anita Louise Combe, Jeff Phillips, Marina Prior[25]
Mexico Mexico City Teatro Silvia Pinal 19 April 1991 María del Sol Enrique del Olmo Manuel Landeta, Susana Zabaleta, Ariel López Padilla, Maru Dueñas, Olivia Bucio, Guillermo de Uslar, Humberto Manlio, Abel David, Marisol Arreola, Manuel Sánchez, David de la Rosa, Meyra Córdova, Gabriel de Cervantes, Alberto Díaz, Cecilia Huerta, Rosalva Navarro, Fabiola Zepeda, Juan Carlos Casasola, Rafael Santiago, Javier Díaz Dueñas, Alejandra Murga, Héctor Arroyo, Estela Barona, Luis René Aguirre, Lenny Zundel, Simone Brooke, Marcela Valiente, Alejandra Valiente, Claudia Meyer, Guillermo Tellez, Jaime Rojas, Ramiro Guzmán, Enrique Calatayud, Armando Moreno
Switzerland Zurich Musical Theatre Oerlikon 9 August 1991 Ruth Jacott / Manuela Felice Jan Polak Paul Hadobas, Rory Campbell, Tibor Kovats, Brian Carmack, Michael Fritzke,

Kristi Sperling, Nikki Bolen, David Kent, Leslie Wiesner, Lindsay Chambers, Jasna Ivir, Alexander Riff, Adam Jones, Rod Roberts, Daniella Bruenner, T.J Hee, Annetta Wimmer, Tina Decker, Angela Savage, Kati Farkass, Nikki Romaine, Ton Voogt, Leon Julian Taylor, Manfred Sieffert, Michael Larsen Disney, Gene Scheer, Laura Quin, Kevin Alvey, Niki Ankenbrand, Andie Mellom

Spain Madrid Teatro Coliseum 17 December 2003 Helen de Quiroga Pedro Ruy-Blas Jack Rebaldi, Enrique Sequero, Edu del Prado, Teresa Cora, Raquel Grijalba, Guadalupe Lancho, Marta Malone, Gorane Markínez, Sandra Rausell, Alberto Sánchez, Paqui Sánchez Melchor, Víctor Ullate
Poland Warsaw Roma Music Theatre 10 January 2004 Izabela Zając Zbigniew Macias Damian Aleksander, Wojciech Paszkowski
Australia Hobart Derwent Entertainment Centre 17 October 2007 Debra Byrne Alan Bacon Craig Irons, Andrew Casey
Australia South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brisbane, China Various Theatres June 2008 Delia Hannah Han Lim / John Ellis Shaun Rennie, Michael-John Hurney, John O'Hara, Renee Burleigh, Adrian Ricks, Caleb Bartolo, Markham Gannon,

Brenton Wilson, Justine Puy, Emily Keane, Darren Tyler, Mischana Dellora- Cornish, Brent Osborne, James Cooper, Monique Chanel Pitsikas, Belinda Allchin, Ranjeet Starr, Alyse Jai Davies, Stephanie Silcock, Sam Marks, Brian Gillespie, Anthony Costanzo

Australia Australia Various Theatres 1 January 2010 Delia Hannah John Ellis Shaun Rennie, Michael-John Hurney, John O'Hara, Renee Burleigh, Adrian Ricks, Caleb Bartolo, Markham Gannon,

Brenton Wilson, Justine Puy, Emily Keane, Emma Waters, Darren Tyler, Mischana Dellora-Cornish, Brent Osborne, James Cooper, Monique Chanel Pitsikas, Belinda Allchin, Ranjeet Starr, Alyse Jai Davies, Stephanie Silcock, Brian Gillespie, Glen Oliver

Brazil São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro Teatro Abril, Vivo Rio 4 March 2010 Paula Lima Saulo Vasconcelos Adenis Vieira, Andreia Vitfer, Andre Saporetti, Andressa Mazzei, Anelita Gallo, Arthur Marques, Carla Cottini, Carol Puntel, Cesar Moura, Cleto Baccic, Daniel Monteiro, Ditto Leite, Fabiane Bang, Fernando Marianno, Fernando Palazza, Fernando Patau, Francine Lobo, Gabriel Brasilio, Gianna Pagano, Guto Muniz, Jhean Allex, Julio Mancini, Leonardo Wagner, Mariana Barros, Mariana Hidemi, Marina Costa, Max Oliveira, Natacha Travassos, Nick Vila Maior, Olivia Branco, Patricia Athayde, Paulo Borges, Alan Rezende, Sara Sarres, Sefora Araujo, Vanessa Costa
Philippines Manila Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo July 2010 Lea Salonga John Ellis Shaun Rennie, Michael-John Hurney
Mexico Mexico City Teatro San Rafael 10 May 2013 Filippa Giordano Manuel Landeta Lila Deneken, Myriam Montemayor Cruz, Maru Dueñas, Olivia Bucio, Ana Cirre, Gloria Aura, Juan Carlos Casasola, Sofia Rozanes
Australia Brisbane Brisbane Convention Centre 4 July 2014 Marina Prior Patrick Oxley Dean Vince, Steven Tandy, Casey McCollow, Astin Blaik, Kimberley Hodgson, Vanessa Krummenacher, Callan Warner, Hannah Crowther, Ethan Jones,

Joseph Simons, Stevie Bishop, Richard Meyers, Clare Hobler, Shaun McCallum, Dan Venz, Stacey de Waard, Brooke McMullen

Australia Australia Various Theatres October 2015 Delta Goodrem Jason Wasley Matt McFarlane, Josh Piterman, James Cooper, Keanu Gonzalez, Sarah Kate Landy, Tobias Madden, Emily Keane, Patrick Whitbread, Amy Berrisford, Bree Langridge, Sam Hooper, Samantha Morley, Erin Cornell, Samantha Morley, Stephanie Silcock, Holly Meegan, Christopher Favaloro, Brent Osborne, Thomas Johannson, Daniel Assetta, Dominique Hamilton, Ross Hannaford, Taylor Scanlan, Ashleigh Hauschild, Jade Hui-Wen Coutts

Awards and nominations

Original London production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1981 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Won
Outstanding Achievement in a Musical Gillian Lynne Won

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1983 Tony Award Best Musical Won
Best Book of a Musical T. S. Eliot Won
Best Original Score Andrew Lloyd Webber and T. S. Eliot Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Harry Groener Nominated
Stephen Hanan Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Betty Buckley Won
Best Direction of a Musical Trevor Nunn Won
Best Choreography Gillian Lynne Nominated
Best Scenic Design John Napier Nominated
Best Costume Design Won
Best Lighting Design David Hersey Won

2014 London revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
Laurence Olivier Award Best Musical Revival Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Nicole Scherzinger Nominated

Planned film adaptation

In May 2016, it was announced that Tom Hooper would direct a film adaptation of the musical for Universal Pictures with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Debra Hayward serving as producers.[27] Production is planned for 2017 or 2018.[28]

Revisions to the show

Cats has undergone several revisions since its London and subsequent Broadway openings. The most current version, licensed by The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, is based on the recent UK Tour. This score contains several small cuts, transpositions, additions, reassignment of vocal lines, and a reduced orchestration.

The original London productions' version of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer is slower (in 12/8 time) and has a more jazzy sound, while the more common, newer version is faster and more upbeat (4/4 time, with the middle verse in 7/8 time). In the original London production, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer were characters in their own right and sang their own song; this was later changed in the Broadway production, where Mr. Mistoffelees sang Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer in the third person, with Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer as puppets being magically controlled by Mr. Mistoffelees. Eventually, the Broadway version of the song was rewritten to allow Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer to once again sing their own song as full characters. In the 1998 film, the first stanza of the song was cut. In the current licensed version, based on the recent UK tour, the 7/8 section is reworked into 4/4 with triplet quavers that simulate the original 12/8 version.

The "Growltiger's Last Stand" sequence has also 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 of an unpublished T.S. Eliot poem, "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw". For the original Broadway production, the Ballad was replaced with a pastiche of Italian opera (reminiscent of Puccini's Madama Butterfly). This new version was subsequently incorporated into most productions of Cats worldwide. The Ballad remained in the London production until some time in the early 1990s when it was replaced with the Italian aria pastiche. "Billy M'Caw" was re-instated for the UK Tours following the show's closure in London. Lloyd Webber has said that he is pleased with the reinstatement of "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw" as he didn't care for the "Italian aria" version.[29] The licensed version of Cats includes both songs, giving individual companies a choice as to which to include. The 2015 London revival and UK tour reinstates the Italian Aria, as well as rewriting the initial verses of Growltiger's Last Stand into a more jazz/blues sounding piece. In the 1998 video version, the entire scene featuring Growltiger was cut due to John Mills' (Gus) old age

In recent productions, a lyric in "Growltiger's Last Stand" was changed to remove any racially insensitive language. "With a frightful burst of fireworks the Chinks they swarmed aboard!" became "with a frightful burst of fireworks, the Siamese they swarmed aboard!", although the lyric "Heathen Chinese" remains in the tale of the Pekes and the Pollicles.

The original London cast recording utilised longer versions of "The Old Gumbie Cat", "Old Deuteronomy" and "The Ad-Dressing of Cats" with verses and lines that were cut from later productions.

The US tour continues to use the original Broadway version of the score, including the Italian aria and material cut from newer versions. Only "Pekes and Pollicles" and one verse of "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" are cut from performance.

The 2015 London revival and UK Tour introduced numerous 'modernizations' to the show, such as a rapped version of "The Rum Tum Tugger,"[30][31] whose character and costume is also completely reworked, changing him from a ladies-man "rock star" style character, to a "young urban" style cat, changing him also from one of the adult toms, to one of the kittens. The 2015 Australian Tour and 2015 Paris productions also used the new Tugger; however, the 2016 Broadway revival does not. The 2015 London revival and UK Tour also has a completely new piece of music used for the Beetles Tattoo segment of 'The Old Gumbie Cat', a reworked jazz version of Growltiger's Last Stand, and the reinstating of Una Tepida Notte, replacing The Ballad of Billy M'Caw.


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  30. "Cats: classic musical to feature a rapping cat". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  31. "Rum Tum Tugger to return as a rapping feline in 'Cats' revival". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2016-03-19.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cats (musical).
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Preceded by
A Chorus Line
Longest-running Broadway show
Succeeded by
The Phantom of the Opera
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