The original Broadway production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats, premiered in the Winter Garden Theatre on October 7, 1982, after previews which began on September 23, 1982. It played a total of 7,485 performances and 15 previews. It was the second production of Cats to open worldwide, following the original London Production. In transferring to Broadway, the show was given a significant overhaul with a much bigger budget. Many of the subsequent productions worldwide were based on the Broadway version of the musical. The show won seven Tony Awards in 1983, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score.
This production made Cats the longest running show in Broadway history from 19 June 1997 until 9 January 2006. In 2016, the musical was revived on Broadway in a reworked production.
After the success of the London production, there was an intense bidding war among American producers to bring the show to Broadway, with The Shubert Organization and David Geffen eventually winning the Broadway rights to Cats. Many changes were made to the show at the insistence of the new producers, so as to better appeal to Broadway audiences and critics. Most of these changes concerned upping the production values and spectacle, but also included major revisions to the London score.
|“||The music changes boiled down to a new version of "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer," on balance a plus, and a coarse cod Italian aria replacing "The Ballad of Billy McCaw" as Growltiger's wooing song for the Lady Griddlebone. This definite minus was written to the Italian translation of a chunk of "Growltiger's Last Stand" and was deemed essential to give Broadway audiences a moment of slapstick fun.||”|
Cuts were also made to many of the musical numbers, following complaints from American critics who had seen the original 1981 London version, that its running time of nearly 3 hours was too long. Some of these changes were later adopted by the original London production. For more details, see Broadway Production/Score.
Cats debuted on Broadway on October 7, 1982, at the Winter Garden Theatre with a record-breaking $6.2 million in ticket pre-sales. It was the most expensive Broadway show ever mounted at the time with a production cost of $5.5 million, though it recouped this investment in just 41 weeks (less than 10 months). On June 19, 1997, Cats overtook A Chorus Line to become the longest-running show in Broadway history with 6,138 performances. At the time, the musical was found to have had an economic impact of $3.12 billion on New York City and had generated the most theatrical jobs of any single entity in Broadway history.
The show was originally scheduled to close in June 2000, but the closing date was pushed back following a surge in ticket sales. Cats eventually closed on September 10, 2000, after a total of 15 previews and 7,485 performances. One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed in the Broadway production for its entire 18-year run. Its Broadway-run record was surpassed on January 9, 2006 by The Phantom of the Opera, and Cats remains Broadway's fourth-longest-running show of all time. Not accounting for inflation, the original Broadway production grossed approximately $388 million in ticket sales.
- Composer: Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Executive Producers: R. Tyler Gatchell, Jr. and Peter Neufeld
- Director: Trevor Nunn
- Associate Director and Choreographer: Gillian Lynne
- Costume and Set Design: John Napier
- Assistant Costume Designer: Sally Ann Parsons
- Assistant Scenic Designer: Raymond Huessy
- Lighting Design: David Hersey
- Sound Design: Martin Levan
- Wig Design: Paul Huntley Productions, Inc.
- Makeup Design: Candace Carell
- Orchestrations: David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Production Musical Director: Stanley Lebowsky (1982 - 1990), David Caddick (1986 - 1993)
|Musical Director||Rene Wiegert||1982 - 1987|
|Jack Gaughan||1986 - 1989|
|Ethyl Will||1989 - 1990|
|Sue Anderson||1989 - 1991|
|Edward G. Robinson||1991 - 1997|
|Patrick Vaccariello||1995 - 1997|
|Mark McLaren||1998 - 1999|
|General Manager||Gatchell & Neufeld, Ltd.|
|Company Manager||James G. Mennen|
|J. Anthony Magner|
|Production Stage Manager||David Taylor|
|Sally J. Greenhut (Jacobs)||1984 - 1991|
|Stage Manager||Lani Sundsten|
|Donald Walters||1987 - 1988|
|Dan Hild||1988 - 1991|
|Peggy Peterson||1988 - 1998|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Sally J. Greenhut (Jacobs)|
|Suzanne Viverito||1991 - 1998|
|Tom Taylor||1991 - 1998|
|Dance Captain||Bonnie Walker||1982 - 1983|
|René Clemente||1983 - 1986|
|Greg Minahan||1987 - 1989|
|Suzanne Viverito||1990 - 1992|
|Leigh Webster||1992 - 1993|
|Suzanne Viverito||1993 - 2000|
For complete Broadway Casts see here
|Alonzo||Héctor Jaime Mercado (cover Macavity, Plato, Rumpus Cat)|
|Asparagus / Bustopher Jones / Growltiger||Stephen Hanan|
|Carbucketty||Steven Gelfer (cover Asparagus, Bustopher Jones, Growltiger)|
|Cassandra||René Ceballos (cover Bombalurina)|
|Coricopat / Mungojerrie||René Clemente (cover Mistoffelees)|
|Etcetera / Rumpleteazer||Christine Langner (cover Victoria)|
|Jellylorum / Griddlebone||Bonnie Simmons|
|Old Deuteronomy||Ken Page|
|Plato / Macavity / Rumpus Cat||Kenneth Ard|
|Pouncival||Herman W. Sebek (cover Alonzo, Coricopat, Mungojerrie)|
|Rum Tum Tugger||Terrence V. Mann|
|Sillabub||Whitney Kershaw (cover Tantomile, Victoria)|
|Tantomile||Janet L. Hubert (cover Demeter, Grizabella)|
|Cats Chorus||Walter Charles (cover Old Deuteronomy)|
|Cats Chorus||Susan Powers (cover Jennyanydots)|
|Cats Chorus||Carol Richards|
|Cats Chorus||Joel Robertson|
|Swing||Steven Hack (cover Carbucketty, Coricopat, Mungojerrie, Pouncival, Tumblebrutus)|
|Swing||Bob Morrisey (cover Alonzo, Munkustrap, Rum Tum Tugger, Skimbleshanks)|
|Swing||Marlene Danielle (cover Bombalurina, Cassandra, Demeter, Tantomile)|
|Swing||Diane Fratantoni (cover Cassandra, Etcetera, Griddlebone, Jellylorum, Rumpleteazer, Sillabub)|
A video recording of the Broadway production was filmed on July 11, 1983, by the New York Public Library's Theatre on Film and Tape Archive. Access to the recording is restricted to research purposes only.
- Philadelphia Inquirer (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) - In-depth look at the Broadway production with Harry Groener (Munkustrap) by William B. Collins. Published: 24 October 1982.
- NY Daily News - Article on the OBC recording by Don Nelsen. Published: 24 October 1982.
- AP News - Interview with Harry Groener (Munkustrap) by Mary Campbell. Published 5 December 1982.
- The Baltimore Sun - Article on the challenging choreography and injuries by Leslie Bennetts. Published: 30 August 1983.
- New York Times - The 15 Lives of 'Cats' By Daniel B. Schneider. Published: 6 October 1996
- Playbill - Cats trivia by Ellis Nassour. Published: 17 June 1997.
Awards and Nominations
- Main article: Awards
1983 Tony Awards
- Best Musical (Won)
- Best Book of a Musical (Won)
- Best Original Score (Won)
- Best Featured Actress in a Musical - Betty Buckley (Won)
- Best Costume Design (Won)
- Best Lighting Design (Won)
- Best Direction of a Musical (Won)
- Best Featured Actor in a Musical - Harry Groener (Nominated)
- Best Featured Actor in a Musical - Stephen Hanan (Nominated)
- Best Scenic Design (Nominated)
- Best Choreography (Nominated)
1983 Drama Desk Awards
- Outstanding Music (Won)
- Outstanding Costume Design (Won)
- Outstanding Lighting Design (Won)
- Outstanding Actress in a Musical - Betty Buckley (Nominated)
- Outstanding Lyrics (Nominated)
1983 Outer Critics Circle Awards
- Best Broadway Musical (Won)
1984 Grammy Awards
- Best Cast Show Album - OBC recording (Won)
- Unmasked: A Memoir by Andrew Lloyd Webber (2018). Pages 361, 364.
- Unmasked: A Memoir by Andrew Lloyd Webber (2018). Pages 375, 384-386.
- The Curiosity of Cats, Smithsonian (October 2007).
- Geffen Sizzles While Biz Drizzles: Broadway is Next Stage for Pop's Top Composers", Billboard. 95 (4): B-4. January 29, 1983.
- The Megamusical by Jessica Sternfeld (2006). Page 169.
- Cats Trivia Encyclopedia, Playbill (June 17, 1997).
- The Megamusical by Jessica Sternfeld (2006). Page 171-172.
- The Top 10 Highest-Grossing Broadway Shows of All Time, Playbill (April 6, 2018).
- Cats videorecording (1983), New York Public Library online catalog.
|Broadway's Cats |
|Productions||Original (1982 - 2000): Cast • Gallery • Cast Recording • Score • Winter Garden Theatre|
|National Tours||US Tour #1 (1983 - 1987): Cast|
|Characters||Alonzo • Bombalurina • Bustopher Jones • Carbucketty • Cassandra • Coricopat • Demeter • Electra • Etcetera • Griddlebone • Grizabella • Growltiger • Gus • Jellylorum • Jennyanydots • Macavity • Mr. Mistoffelees • Mungojerrie • Munkustrap • Old Deuteronomy • Plato • Pouncival • Rum Tum Tugger • Rumpleteazer • Rumpus Cat • Skimbleshanks • Sillabub • Tantomile • Tumblebrutus • Victoria|