It seems that the Shuberts--owners of the Winter Garden Theater, which has been home to Cats since 1982--wanted to close the show last month, and informed Andrew Lloyd Webber of their plan as a courtesy. Webber called a meeting with management that reportedly became acrimonious in the extreme. The Shuberts allowed the show to stay open, but now a definite closing date has been set for June 25, 2000. Cats has been running at a loss for some time now.
The show's departure from the Winter Garden means that one of the most attractive theaters in New York will be available to other productions for the first time in nearly 20 years. The great Angela Lansbury is scheduled to return to Broadway next season in Kander & Ebb's new musical The Visit, and she would very much like to perform at the Winter Garden--site of her previous triumphs in Mame and Gypsy. But word is that the theater will have to undergo renovations lasting anywhere from six months to one year before it will be ready for a new tenant.