'Cats' Musical Wiki

Linda Balgord was the final actress to play Grizabella in the original Broadway production of Cats.

Cats Credits[]

Broadway - 07/1998 - 09/1998 - Grizabella

US Tour 4 - 09/1998 - Grizabella

Broadway - 03/1999 - 09/2000 - Grizabella

Biography (2000)[]

Linda Balgord (Grizabella) has starred in two national tours of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals. Most recently she played Norma Desmond in the first national tour of Sunset Boulevard directed by Trevor Nunn. She also starred as Rose Vibert in Aspects of Love directed by Robin Phillips. On Broadway Miss Balgord was featured in the original cast of the Sondheim/Lapine musical Passion. She created the role of Violet Chandler in the American premiere of The Fix, new musical produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Eric D. Schaeffer.

She has made concert appearances at Carnegie Hall and Whitehall Palace in London. Her regional credits include leading roles in Funny Girl, Evita and Man of La Mancha.

Miss Balgord has a B.A. from Viterbo College and an M.F.A. from the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware.


Diva Talk: 8 Grizabellas, Including Betty Buckley and Elaine Paige, Share Their "Memory"s - Playbill.com, Sept 2016.

Linda Balgord played the role for the final two years of the original Broadway run.

How long did it take you to get into full Grizabella makeup each night?
LB: It took me 30 minutes to get into makeup and hair.

What is the pressure/challenge like of having to deliver “Memory,” the vocally demanding song everyone waits for all evening?
LB: I always tried to approach singing “Memory” through the story. Grizabella is desperate to be taken back into her tribe. There is great pressure to deliver the song, but I tried to manage it by staying with Grizabella’s communication of her story and her need.

Was there any one performance of “Memory” that stands out in your mind as your best ever?
LB: I’m not sure it was my best performance, but the most memorable was certainly the closing performance! Everyone was there.

What was the most memorable onstage Cats mishap—either your own or by a fellow cast member?
LB: One evening the mechanical arm that took me up to the “Heavyside Layer” did not go up into the cat-walk. I had to get back on the tire with Old Deuteronomy.

Why do you think the musical has endured?
LB: I think Cats endures because it is a unique theatrical experience with universal appeal.

What version of “Memory”—other than your own—do you admire?
LB: I love Barbra Streisand’s recording of “Memory,” but I must say that I admire all the women of the theatre who performed it lovingly, eight times a week!