Now And Forever: CATS Will Return To Broadway
A New Day Has Begun as Broadway plans to welcome back one of its largest blockbuster productions in history in a brand new incarnation! Following the success of its London return, CATS will live up to its iconic slogan (Now And Forever) by returning to Broadway for it’s first revival ever. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that CATS will return to Broadway in Summer 2016!
Broadway is ready to have a Jellicle Ball as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS musical will officially return to Broadway this summer! Slated to bring the Heaviside layer to The Neil Simon Theatre, previews begin July 14th with an official opening August 2nd, 2016. A spokesperson for the production noted that this Broadway revival is an entirely new production based on the 2014 London revival (Pictured Above Right) which was critically acclaimed. The 2014 London revival include several major musical updates to the score including The Rum Tum Tugger rapping.
Trevor Nunn, who directed both the original London and Broadway productions, will return as director to recreate his new vision from the 2014 London staging for New York. New to the team is the highly sought Andy Blankenbuehler (Pictured Left), choreographer for Hamilton, who will choreograph the Broadway revival. His work will be based on the original choreography and associate direction Gillian Lynne provided. The rest of the creative team includes John Napier as scenic and costume designer, Natasha Katz as lighting designer and Mick Potter as sound designer. The Shubert Organization and Nederlander Organization are teaming up to produce the show’s return to Broadway following their successful partnership producing Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock, currently playing The Winter Garden.
CATS premiered on Broadway in October 1982 at The Winter Garden (Pictured Right) Theatre with the same production team who mounted the successful London premiere. The production was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and went on to win seven including Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. It would go on to play Broadway for 18 years through September 2000 with a total of 7,485 performances. It was the longest running show on Broadway for three years (After snagging the title in 1997) only to be surpassed by an other Lloyd Webber blockbuster, The Phantom Of The Opera. To this day, it remains the fourth longest running show in Broadway history. The Phantom of The Opera, Disney’s The Lion King and Chicago (All of which are currently still running) are ahead in the longest running show category. Thank you to Michael S. Yamashita/Corbis for the photo above right!
No casting has been announced for the revival but it is anticipated that actress and singer Nicole Scherzinger (Pictured Left) will recreate her Olivier Award nominated performance on Broadway as Grizabella. This has not been confirmed at this time and was not mentioned by the production in the official release. Scherzinger performed the role of Grizabella in London for the first 12 weeks of the show’s revival in the West End. Her performance was critically acclaimed and Lloyd Webber himself has expressed interest in her bringing her performance to Broadway. Scherzinger told audiences on the Today Show in October 2015 she was “in talks” to come to Broadway with CATS but stated, “I can’t wait to come here”. Scherzinger is best known for her role as a music artist in The Pussycat Dolls, one of the most successful all female groups of all time.
Andrew Lloyd Webber (Pictured Below Left) spoke to The Telegraph about the London revival’s success and the hope for the production to head elsewhere saying;
“[The London revival] did three times better than we thought it would. Thirteen weeks at the London Palladium. I know that building and that’s almost impossible. It has kicked it off again all round the world. Everyone now wants to take the production. It has a new face and is seating a completely new audience. That’s very exciting to see.”
Luner Lowdown: At last, CATS finally announces its return to Broadway! The revival and return of the British blockbuster has been in the talks since the London production was critically acclaimed and Lloyd Webber sought to return the show to New York as many British blockbusters have done so reimagined for a new generation. CATS follows in the footsteps of the currently playing Les Miserable and the upcoming Miss Saigon revival. The return of CATS will also mark the first time in over two decades Lloyd Webber will have three of his shows playing Broadway at the same time. CATS joins Broadway’s longest running musical, The Phantom Of The Opera, and his newest addition, School Of Rock, just beginning to bow this past season. Luner on Theatre has an article dedicate solely to Andrew Lloyd Webber and his work on Broadway this season we can’t wait to share with you! Check back when we break down the British legend’s work on Broadway now back on the stage more than ever before.
Luner on Theatre will keep you updated as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS heads back to Broadway this summer! With CATS opening this summer long after The 2016 Tony Awards, the musical revival will eligible for the following season’s awards and officially become the first musical to open in the 2016-17 season on Broadway. We’re looking forward to welcoming back another British blockbuster on Broadway! At this time, there is no official website or social media for CATS on Broadway! Check back as we will update you as soon as it exists! (Please note; Unless a photo is noted to be taken by Luner on Theatre, we do not own/claim ownership for any photos used in this post.) Check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!