Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats T. S. Eliot. It introduced the song standard "Memory." The musical first opened in the West End in 1981 and then on Broadway in 1982. Each time directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, it won numerous awards, including both the Laurence Olivier Award and the Tony Award for Best Musical. The London production ran for twenty one years and the Broadway production ran for eighteen years, both setting long-run records. Actresses Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley became particularly associated with the musical. One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed in the Broadway production for its entire run (from 1982 until 2000). Cats has been performed around the world many times and has been translated into more than 20 languages. In 1998 it was also made into a television video.
Cats musical show made its debut on Broadway on 7 October 1982, at the Winter Garden Theatre with the same production team. On 19 June 1997, Cats became the longest-running musical in Broadway history with 6,138 performances. It played a total of 7,485 performances in New York. Its New York record was surpassed on 9 January 2006, by The Phantom of the Opera, which was also composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Cats’ final performance on Broadway was on 10 September 2000. It remains Broadway’s second longest-running show in history. Interestingly, Andrew Lloyd Webber pointed out that when the original show was put on, it cost £900,000, but on Broadway, it cost $5,000,000, highlighting how expensive it is to put a show on in New York.
In 1998, Lloyd Webber produced a video version of Cats, based upon the stage version, starring Elaine Paige, who originated the role of Grizabella in London; Ken Page, who originated Old Deuteronomy on Broadway; Sir John Mills as Gus; Michael Gruber as Munkustrap; John Partridge as The Rum Tum Tugger; Jo Gibb as Rumpelteazer and many other dancers and singers drawn largely from various stage productions of the show. It was directed by David Mallet, with choreography and musical staging by the show’s respected original creator Gillian Lynne in London’s Adelphi Theatre, and was released on VHS and DVD, as well as broadcast on television worldwide. Cats has been translated into over 20 languages.