The memory lives on as Cats, nearly 16 years after the original production ended, finally begins performances on Broadway tomorrow, July 14th. Directed by Trevor Nunn, and licensed by Really Useful Group, this new production will play at the Neil Simon Theatre, followed by an official opening on July 31st.
As reported, three-time Grammy nominee and recording artist Leona Lewis will make her Broadway debut as the glamour cat Grizabella. She recorded her eleven o’clock number, “Memory,” with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber last month, but unfortunately, no word yet on if Really Useful Group will distribute the full single publicly.
Based on T.S. Eliot’s “Book of Practical Cats,” through song, dance, and poetry, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony-winning musical follows a tribe of felines at their annual Jellicle Ball. The leader and patriarch, Old Deuteronomy (played by Quentin Earl Darrington), chooses one cat for a new life in the Heaviside Layer. Once the longest-running musical on Broadway, the original production boasted 7,485 performances over a span of 18 years.
The rest of the creative team includes John Napier (scenic and costume design), Natasha Katz (lighting design) and Mick Potter (sound design), in addition to choreography, based on Gillian Lynne’s original work, by Andy Blankenbuehler.
Recently, cast member Aaron Albano posted a picture of a dress rehearsal on Instagram:
Just looking at that picture leaves me with three feelings: nostalgia, exhilaration, and exhaustion. As someone who repeatedly watched the 1998 DVD and saw the touring company in Atlanta, I couldn’t be more stoked to hear the mystical opening chords of the “Overture” once again.
The rest of the feline company includes Shonica Gooden (Rumpleteazer), Ahmad Simmons (Alonzo) Sharrod Williams (Pouncival), Giuseppe Bausilio (Carbucketty), Jeremy Davis (Skimbleshanks), Kim Faure (Demeter), Sara Jean Ford (Jellylorum), Lili Froehlich (Electra), Daniel Gaymon (Macavity), Christopher Gurr (Gus/Bustopher Jones), Tyler Hanes (Rum Tum Tugger), Andy Huntington Jones (Munkustrap), Kolton Krouse (Tumblebrutus), Eloise Kropp (Jennyanydots / Gumbie Cat), Jess LeProtto (Mungojerrie), Georgina Pazcoguin (Victoria), Emily Pynenburg (Cassandra), Arianna Rosario (Sillabub), Christine Cornish Smith (Bombalurina), Corey Snide (Coricopat), Emily Tate (Tantomile), and Ricky Ubeda (Mistoffelees), with Richard Todd Adams, Aaron Albano, Callan Bergmann, Claire Camp, Francesca Granell, Jessica Hendy, Harris Milgrim, Madison Mitchell, Nathan Patrick Morgan, and Megan Ort.
Break a paw, guys!
For tickets, visit Cats on Broadway.