With its original run spanning nearly 18 full years from October 1982 to September 2000, the original run of Cats made it the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history—and certainly one of its most famous. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical won seven Tony Awards in 1983 but, after closing in 2000, wouldn’t return to Broadway until a 2016 revival at the Neil Simon Theatre. Now, with an announced closing date of December 30th, 2017, fans only have a limited time left to see Grizabella, Rum Tum Tugger, Old Deuteronomy and the rest of their favorite felines—and it’s a safe bet that it will be a long time before they return to Broadway.
Fans of the original production of Cats won’t be disappointed by today’s staging, as director Trevor Nunn has returned to helm the story he helped launch to success alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber. “This Cats is fundamentally the Cats you knew and loved when you were first bit by the musical-theater bug,” wrote New York Times critic Charles Isherwood. “It is not a musical that inspires mild reactions.” Mamie Parris (School of Rock) stars as Grizabella, and is joined by Tyler Hanes (A Chorus Line) as Rum Tum Tugger, Ricky Ubeda (So You Think You Can Dance) as Mistoffelees and Quentin Earl Darrington (Ragtime) as Old Deuteronomy. Adding a modern twist to today’s version of the play is Andy Blankenbuehler, who was brought on board to update the choreography. A Tony Award winner for Hamilton, Blankenbuehler modernizes the movement of the play while maintaining the spirit of its original dancing.