Not a sound from the pavement…
The story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.
An explosion of music and lights reveals the larger- than-life junkyard, with probing car lights tearing across the darkened landscape of bottles and boxes, briefly catching the darting image of a running feline. Tonight, is the one special night each year when the tribe of Jellicle Cats reunites to celebrate who they are. Suspicious of the audience, but proud of what and who they are, they explain to their human visitors that cats have three different names: the one the family uses daily, a more dignified name and a secret name. It is the contemplation of these secret names which keeps felines deep in thought.
Their benevolent and wise old leader Old Deuteronomy arrives, adored and respected by the other cats. It is time for “The Jellicle Ball,” the great annual dance in which all the cats celebrate. But a crash of sound interrupts the celebration, as the villainous Macavity appears, and cat-naps Old Deuteronomy! Now it’s a race against time and the villain Macavity to rescue the old leader
A third crash Two of his henchmen invade the proceedings, Demeter and Bombalurina sing what they know of Macavity, whose evil deeds have resulted in his being dubbed ‘the Napoleon of crime.’ Macavity returns, disguised as Old Deuteronomy, but he is exposed and battles with Munkustrap and the other male cats. Tired and almost defeated, Macavity rigs an electrical explosion that puts out all the lights, leaving the Jellicles in the dark. But they still must find Old Deuteronomy…
The original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, original scenic and costume design by John Napier, all-new lighting design by Natasha Katz, all-new sound design by Mick Potter, new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne and direction by Trevor Nunn make this production a new CATS for a new generation!
Cats was first presented as a song cycle in 1980 by Andrew Lloyd Webber, it was based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. Then producer Cameron Mackintosh along with director Trevor Nunn and choreographer Gillian Lynne turned the songs into a complete musical. Opening on London’s West End in 1981 and the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in 1982. The London production won two Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best Musical, two years later, the Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, also including Best Musical, and the cast recording won the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Cats is the fourth-longest-running Broadway show and the sixth-longest-running West End show, it has traveled to over 30 countries, performed in 250 cities, and been translated into 15 languages.
Cats Broadway Reviews
It’s kitschy and fun, sometimes quite touching, and marvelously well done. It’ll likely be very nostalgic for anyone who saw the show before, and, I’m guessing, a treat for people who haven’t, and don’t go expecting a profound theatrical experience. “Cats” is a one-of-a-kind entertainment, and I can’t imagine a young, budding theater-lover, in particular, not being entranced.
Robert Feldberg – NorthJersey.com
“Cats” isn’t a great musical but it’s a great show and an ironclad smash. The latest extravaganza from the prolific and gifted British composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, takes Broadway legit to a new plateau of technologically enhanced spectacle and is an audience stampeder. Its good for a multiple-year run at the Winter Garden, where it opened to an enthusiastic uproar Thursday with an advance sale of more than $6,000,000.
Richard Hummler – Variety Magazine