"Cats" opened at The Winter Garden on October 7, 1982, carrying an advance of $6.2 million, the largest in Broadway history. In 1997 it surpassed "A Chorus Line" as the longest running show in Broadway history. On September 10, 2000, after 7,485 shows and a run of nearly 18 years, the show closed - a Broadway record. For the first time ever, an Andrew Lloyd Webber show has been specially filmed and made available on video. With a star cast including Elaine Paige and Sir John Mills, and its stunning production values, Cats will no doubt set a new standard for the filming of all future musicals. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, the most famous musical of all time, first exploded onto the West End stage in 1981. 'Memory', one of its many classic songs, became an instant worldwide hit. Since then Cats has smashed records and conquered the world. Using the latest technology, all the excitement, thrill, romance and intimacy of this theatrical legend has been captured on screen. Breathtaking visuals and full digital sound (that has been completely re-recorded with a seventy piece orchestra) will lead you deep into the mysterious world of Cats. Cats - as you'll never see it again - more intoxicating and magical than you could possibly imagine.
The 30-minute documentary "What's a Jellicle Cat? The Making of Cats
the Video" provides a backstage look at the video version of the longest-running show in Broadway history. After a brief discussion of the original show's start in 1981, the bulk of the time is spent on the creation of the video and the advantages it had over a stage production--a larger orchestra, clearer lyrics, and close-ups for better story-telling. There's plenty of rehearsal footage, plus comments by Lloyd Webber, director-choreographer Gillian Lynne, Elaine Paige (Grizabella), and other cast members. Of course "Memory" is discussed, and an excerpt of it played by the orchestra without vocals is positively gorgeous. --David Horiuchi