Just in time for the dog days of summer, Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot’s Cats will return to Broadway this summer, the first revival since the original blockbuster closed after an 18-year run that began at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1982. The New York production is currently the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.
The long-rumored revival, slated to begin performances on Bastille Day, July 14, at the Nederlander Organization’s Neil Simon Theatre, is being produced by the Nederlanders with their arch-rivals except when they’re not, the Shubert Organization. Of interest is that The Really Useful Group, Lloyd Webber’s company, is licensing the production but not producing. Regardless, the revival will give Lord Lloyd Webber three Broadway shows running concurrently, including The Phantom Of The Opera and the recently opened School Of Rock — The Musical. Also absent from the producing roster are Hollywood mogul and philanthropist David Geffen and global theater mogul Cameron Mackintosh, co-producers of the original Broadway staging. Cats is set to open on August 2.
Trevor Nunn will reprise as director, with Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler doing those honors based on the original choreography and associate direction by Gillian Lynne. John Napier, the designer of the original, returns to do the set and costumes, along with Natasha Katz (lighting) and Mick Potter (sound). Nina Lannan is executive producer.
Composed by Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” Cats swept the Tony Awards with seven medallions including Best Musical and introduced the standard “Memory” — sung in the original by Tony-winning Betty Buckley — into the Broadway songbook.
Co-producers The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization issued a joint statement, saying: “In 1982, the arrival of Cats took Broadway by storm. The show went on to dazzle audiences at the Winter Garden for the next 18 years, becoming one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. We are delighted to join together to bring Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical back to Broadway.”