Cats had its German premiere in Hamburg on 18 April 1986 at the Operettenhaus. The production played over 6,100 performances, before closing on 28 January 2001 after almost 15 years. Cats was the first commercial musical production in Germany, paving the way for shows like The Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express.
The Hamburg production was loosely based on the same team's 1985 Australian production, not the comparatively local German-language Vienna Production. The costumes had their own version of John Napier's original design; Alonzo's costume was brown and black and Sillabub's costume was golden (it became red/purple soon after the release of the video). Also the make-up and wig designs were completely unique.
The Hamburg version of the show was much brighter and more cheerful than the productions in London and Vienna. The size of the cast (22 cats) and the names of the cats (Sillabub, Pouncival, Tumblebrutus, Genghis/Dschingis) were based on the Broadway production. Although there had already been a translation by Michael Kunze for the 1983 Vienna production of the show, the whole musical was re-translated because of copyright reasons.
Hamburg used the HH Nap 9 set that was designed to fit this particular theatre.
- Director: David Taylor (after Trevor Nunn)
- Artistic Director: Sabine Grohmann
- Choreographer: Jo-Anne Robinson (after Gillian Lynne)
- Assistant to Jo-Anne Robinson: Lynnda Curry
- Musical Supervisor: Stanley Lebowsky
- Set Designer: Raymond Huessy
- Set Design Assistant: Robert Berg
- Lighting Design: David Hersey
- Lighting Design Assistant: Rick Belzer
- Sound Design: Martin Levan
- Sound Design Assistant: Graham Carmichael
- Costume Supervisor: Alison Todd
- Resident Director: Terry Robinson
- Musical Director: John Baer
- Translation: Sabine Grohmann, John Baer, Marc Henning
|Alonzo / Rumpus Katz||Erique Redd|
|Asparagus / Bustopher Mürr||Stephan Drakulich|
|Jellylorum / Griddlebone||Nancy Nordine|
|Jenny Fleckenfell / Gumbie Katz||Karin Ploog|
|Old Deuteronomy||Walter Reynolds|
|Plato / Macavity||Eric Clausell|
|Rum Tum Tugger||Fred Butter|
Portraits re-printed from earlier photoshoots.
1999 (August 21)
- In 1996, the Hamburg cast staged a drag parody of the show for a special in-house event, with the female performers playing the male characters and vice versa.
- Many performers from this production would later go on to do the Broadway production vice versa