Cats the Musical

CATS the musical Returned to Broadway in 2016

London, Paris, Scotland, Australia... and beyond!

The history of CATS The Musical, from it's birth in London in 1981 to Andrew Lloyd Webber's exciting new production that started in 2016. I started this site about 25 years ago; check out the historic character photos & descriptions, view costumes made by fans with hints on how to make your own, tour the CATS Garage Sale at the Winter Garden theater in New York where I met cast members & bought some CATS memorabilia, visit our Jellicle Mall & more.

    Cats the broadway musical animation
    Cats on broadway logo
Cats under the Jellicle Moon

This was our Yule card in 2000, the year CATS closes on Broadway (sniff!) The costumes were also our Halloween garb that year.
Yeah I know the season has passed so apply it to the holiday of your choice :-)

Hi! I'm CatAnna and you're about to paw through the theatrical section of my meditative cats' cyberhome. This is a tribute to our favorite musical Cats which is of course based on ailurophile T.S. Eliot's wonderful Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Even though you don't see much meditation going on onstage in Cats (the producers must have thought that it wouldn't be too interesting to an audience of humans) rest assured that when the Jellicles aren't dancing, singing, performing feats of magic or pouncing on one another, they are deep in meditation on their ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Names.

I first saw Cats in 1987 at the Winter Garden Theater in Manhattan. I'd read about this fantastical musical in which actors transformed themselves into Eliot's Jellicles and was inspired to buy the Book of the Musical which is a work of art unto itself. Sketches of costumed otherworldly cats give way to photos of flesh & blood feline characters. These are not cartoon pussy cats. They have distinct personalities with individual points of view and histories and emotions and relationships. The set is a dreamlike marvel. I bought the sound track which came on 2 LPs... I don't think CDs existed yet. The songs were irresistable. I had to see this show! When I finally did (with my Mom, another Cats fan) I wasn't disappointed. The Jellicles and their magical junkyard came to life before my eyes & the show crackled with energy from start to finish. We had balcony seats with a great view of the stage. When the cats weren't onstage, they often slinked around the fringes of the audience. And the performances onstage were one star turn after another. It's hard to single out anyone but I was especially impressed with Mistoffellees. They were all marvelous. But it was Grizabella as played by the late great Laurie Beechman* who really touched my heart. When she was finally accepted back into the tribe and transcended to the Heaviside Layer... well that was a four handkerchief experience! Anyone who knows what it is to feel like an outsider can easily identify with Griz. And the older I get, the more deeply the Memory of Grizabella and of all the splendiforous cats haunts me.

Elaine Paige was the first Grizabella, at the New London Stage in the West End in 1981.
"Memory" was voted best song that year and CATS was voted best new musical.

Betty Buckley was the first to play Grizabella and sing Memory on Broadway
& she won the Tony Award for best performance by a featured actress in a Musical in 1983.
If you're a fellow Grizafanantic you can paw on over to the Grizabella Galleries right now. If you'd rather meet the other Cats first, read on...

I saw CATS again at the end of March, 2000... I wanted to see it one more time before the announced Broadway closing date on June 25 and I wanted to share it with my husband John. Due to an outpouring of media coverage, fan sentiment and heightened ticket sales CATS was extended to run at the Winter Garden Theater through September 10, 2000. As I'm writing this, it's September 11 and last night CATS closed on Broadway after an 18 year run (sob!) Yeah, that's pretty long but No, it's not long enough, dernit! I really wanted to see it again. And again and again! Of course it's still playing in London and and in many other cities around the world. There are also dozens of touring companies so were able to see it again 3 more times, once in Atlantic City and twice on Long Island.

Cats at the Winter Garden Theater
John and I saw Cats at the Winter Garden on March 29, 2000!
He took this picture of me in front of the theater
I'm the very happy lady in green with her hands in the air :-)
John and I experienced the latest incarnation of the best musical in the universe... CATS on tour.. on July 29, 2001 in Atlantic City. We loved it every bit as much as the shows we've seen on B'way... absolutely magical & totally capturing the spirit of this very special musical. It's hard to single individuals out 'cause the whole cast was so wonderful but I want to make special mention of Grizabella who moved me to tears more than once with her gorgeous voice and eloquent body language... Skimbleshanks, whose performance had so much electricity he had the whole theater vibrating... Mistoffeles who not only has incredible dance moves but the sweetest facial expressions... and Mungojerrie who was sooo cute interacting with the audience. I'm glad we were seated stage left in the second row of tables so we could see him up close. Great performance with Rumple too! I wish we could have gone back for another show, and another and another!

Ah, Memories! This is a picture I took at the Winter Garden Theater garage sale in Sept, 2000.
There are more pictures & descriptions of what we saw and & bought a little further down the page.
CATS garage sale at the Winter Garden Theater
In case you didn't know the names of the Jellicles in Cats, may we present (in alphabetical order so no one's upset)...

Admetus, Alonzo, Bombalurina, Bustopher Jones, Cassandra, Coricopat*, Demeter, Electra, Etcetera, Griddlebone**, Grizabella the Glamour Cat, Growltiger**, Gus the Theatre Cat aka Asparagus, Jellylorum, Jennyanydots the Gumbie Cat, Jimima aka Sillabub, the most Magical Mr. Mistoffelees aka Quaxo, Mungojerrie*, Munkustrap, Old Deuternonomy, Plato aka Carbucketty, Macavity the Mystery Cat, Pouncival, Rumpleteazer*, Rum Tum Tugger, the great Rumpus Cat, Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat, Tantomile*, Tumblebrutus aka Bill Bailey & Victoria. Eventually I hope to have individual pages for all the Jellicles.
* Mungojerrie & Rumpleteazer are almost always together, as are Tantomile & Coricopat
** OK, Griddlebone and Growltiger are "just" characters in Growltiger's Last Stand and the Rumpus Cat is "just" a character in the Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles so some might say they're technically not members of the Jellicle tribe. But they're an important part of Cats, IMO (even tho GB and GT were left out of the video) so I've decided to add them. Thanks for talking me into it, Ozzie :-)

cats pawThe Jellicle Mall Where you can buy the Commemorative Edition DVD & video (including a bonus tape of behind-the-scenes stuff), original cast recordings, rehearsal land performance clothing for dancers, sheet music, songbooks & photo books at discounted prices, including books written by two cast members.
Just added: CATS music box and waterglobe.

cats pawCATS as myth Even though Cats is closing on Broadway and in London, I know it will be back on the "big stages" someday. Meanwhile, there are wonderful touring companies and local productions happening all over the world and probably not to far from where YOU live so go see it!

Here's why I think Cats will be with us now and forever

cats pawJellicle Astrology Psychological profiles and astrological signs of the characters.

cats pawWho's Who The creative people behind Cats, including cast lists for the original Broadway & West End productions, the current Broadway production & the video. I've fallen in love with the original Australian cast CD so I've added them & the cast of their Cats Run Away to the Circus tour

cats pawPhoto Gallery Assorted Jellicle photos that I've found on web, scanned myself or captured from the video. And some very cool morphs!

cats pawCats Backstage Dontcha love backstage photos?! Thanks to Julie Langel, who played Grizabella on the US tour and to Sandy Rass, who played Skimbleshanks and Carbucketty in the 1995-96 London production, for sharing theirs. You'll also find some makeup room photos of the original Broadway cast here.

cats pawCats in Costume A tribute to online Jellicles who've designed their own costumes and/or makeup. Photos plus links to theatrical costume & stage makeup resources. And have a look at the Rum Tum Tugger & Grizabella costumes I made for my husband and me. Please be kind... they're our first attempts :-)

cats pawThe Cats Garage Sale & Broadway Flea Market Our last visit to the Jellicle Junkyard during the Winter Garden Theater's big blowout sale of costumes, set pieces and assorted CATS memorabilia. What it was like, what we bought and lots of pictures of the garage sale and the CATS booth at the BC/EFA Flea Market.

cats pawMy Adopted Jellicles Meet my cute little furry adopted Cats and find out where you can adopt some of your own.

cats pawOur Awards Many thanks to the Jellicles who've bestowed awards on site!

cats pawPersonal Stuff Photos, links to friends & family and other personal info for anyone who cares about that sort of thing :-)

cats pawCredits and Thanks Some of these photos I scanned myself but others I found on the web. Click on the paw to find out where. And special thanks to those who've linked stuff they've found here back to me :-)

The Cats

cats pawGrizabella Tribute to the Glamour Cat! LOTS of photos, words to Memory & the TS Eliot poems that the song was adapted from. And if you're a Grizabella fan like me, you can join the Grizabella Appreciation Society Fan art, what the name Grizabella means & a list of actresses who've played her

cats pawMistoffelees The Magical Mr. M's theme song & photos of some of the actors who played him.

The Rum Tum TuggerThe Rum Tum Tugger The Curious Cat's theme song & photos of some of the actors who played him.

Old DeuteronomyOld Deuteronomy Meet the ancient and beloved leader of the Jellicle tribe.

MunkustrapMunkustrap Photos of some of the actors who've played him and the lyrics to "The Pekes and the Pollicles"

London cast of Cats the musical

Please visit
my little genuinely furry Jellicle's site
Thanks from CatAnna & her meditative cats

some of my other musical pages...

DISCLAIMER: This site has no intentions of infringing on any copyrights.
The material displayed here is simply a celebration to the wonderful people around the musical Cats!

Cats the musical & cast photos © The Really Useful Group Ltd.
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, additional words by Trevor Nunn & Richard Stilgoe
Meditative Cat graphics & all text descriptions © 2000-2019 Catresea Ann Canivan

Jellyorum's Cats graphics