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Broadway revival of CATS begins performances tonight

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Broadway revival of CATS begins previews at the Neil Simon Theatre tonight, before an official opening on 31 July 2016.

CATS features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe.

Synopsis: "On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life."

The cast of CATS includes three-time Grammy nominee Leona Lewis making her Broadway debut in the iconic role of Grizabella, alongside (in alphabetical order) Giuseppe Bausilio (Carbucketty), Quentin Earl Darrington (Old Deuteronomy), Jeremy Davis (Skimbleshanks), Kim Faure (Demeter), Sara Jean Ford (Jellylorum), Lili Froehlich (Electra), Daniel Gaymon (Macavity), Shonica Gooden (Rumpleteazer), Christopher Gurr (Gus/Bustopher Jones), Tyler Hanes (Rum Tum Tugger), Andy Jones (Munkustrap), Kolton Krouse (Tumblebrutus), Eloise Kropp (Jennyanydots/Gumbie), Jess LeProtto (Mungojerrie), Georgina Pazcoguin (Victoria), Emily Pynenburg (Cassandra), Ariana Rosario (Sillabub), Ahmad Simmons (Alonzo), Christine Cornish Smith (Bombalurina), Corey Snide (Coricopat), Emily Tate (Tantomile), Ricky Ubeda (Mistoffelees) and Sharrod Williams (Pouncival), with Richard Todd Adams, Aaron Albano, Callan Bergmann, Claire Camp, Francesca Granell, Jessica Hendy, Harris Milgrim, Madison Mitchell, Nathan Patrick Morgan and Megan Ort.

The creative team behind the Broadway revival features direction by Trevor Nunn, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (based on original choreography by Gillian Lynne), scenic & costume design by John Napier, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Mick Potter.

This production marks the first ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 musical since its Broadway premiere production closed on 10 September 2000.

CATS originally opened in the West End in 1981, picking up the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical, and ran for 21 years. Its Broadway incarnation opened in 1982 and stayed put for 18 years, winning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

CATS is produced on Broadway by The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization and licensed by The Really Useful Group.

Leona Lewis shot to fame as the winner of the UK's third series of "The X Factor" and has gone on to sell over 20 million records worldwide, receiving a total of three Grammy and seven Brit Award nominations along the way. She has released five studio albums to date - "Spirit" (2007), "Echo" (2009), "Glassheart" (2012), "Christmas, with Love" (2013) and "I Am" (2015). In 2014, she made her acting debut in the movie musical "Walking on Sunshine."

- by Tom Millward

Leona Lewis

Originally published on