The musical that started the so called mega musical phenomenon. It came out in 1981 as a gigantic stage production on both Broadway and London’s West End. In London it ran for 21 years, on Broadway for 18. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber already tried his hand earlier at similar spectacular musicals, but Cats was a scale apart.
Cats is based on the poems of T.S. Eliot in Old Possum’s Book of practical cats. That collection of poems was published in 1939. Together, they tell the story of a group of cats that calls themselves the Jellicles. They celebrate the Jellicle Ball, to choose someone to go to heaviside layer (Cat’s heaven) and be reborn into a new life. Before the eventual choice, different cats are telling their stories. For owner’s of cats, these stories are very relatable. Cats who are stealing stuff, cats that constantly want to be on the other side of the door, cats that are the bully of the streets and cats that are beauty queens, or remember their past as such.