Get ready to take a stroll down "Memory" lane. Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Cats will return to Broadway this summer at the Neil Simon Theatre, following earlier speculation about a transfer of the recent West End production. Preview performances will begin July 14 in advance of an August 2 opening.
The musical's original West End and Broadway director Trevor Nunn will helm the production, with choreography by Hamilton's Andy Blankenbuehler, based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne, and with associate direction by Lynne. The creative team for the new Broadway production will also include sound design by Mick Potter, lighting design by Natasha Katz, and scenic and costume design by John Napier.
Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the original Broadway production of Cats opened in 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre, currently home to Webber's School of Rock. The production ran for a record-breaking 18 years and 7,485 performances and earned six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score.
Co-producers The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization issued a joint statement, saying, "In 1982, the arrival of Cats took Broadway by storm. The show went on to dazzle audiences at the Winter Garden for the next 18 years, becoming one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. We are delighted to join together to bring Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical back to Broadway."
When Cats arrives, Webber will have the rare distinction of being represented on Broadway with three separate shows: The Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock being the other two.
Casting has not yet been announced, though former Pussycat Doll frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger led the recent West End production as Grizabella (originated on Broadway by Betty Buckley) and was rumored to be in talks for a Broadway transfer.