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Cats (Original Broadway Cast)

Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) is the most successful composer of musicals of his generation and also a breaker of molds for the type. His predecessors were, for the most part, American: New York-based songwriters steeped in Broadway tradition. Lloyd Webber saw his share of shows as a child, too, but he was born in London, the son of William Lloyd Webber, Director of the London College of Music, and was trained at the Royal Academy of Music, hardly the sort of place where you'd be likely to hear Oklahoma!

Nevertheless, Lloyd Webber hooked up with lyricist Tim Rice, and the two began work on what would be a typical project for them, a musical based on the Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. Titled Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, it brought in a strong rock & roll influence. After writing a second unproduced musical, the two hit on the idea of writing a musical based on the life of Jesus Christ from the point of view of Judas (not the sort of idea likely to occur to a Broadway composer) and, again, imbued with rock. Unable to finance a stage version, Lloyd Webber and Rice did manage to record their show, and Jesus Christ Superstar went on to sales in the millions all over the world. The hit musical version followed.

Lloyd Webber and Rice then split, with the composer writing film scores and working on an abortive musical with playwright Alan Ayckbourne (Jeeves), after which Rice returned with another audacious idea: a musical based on the life of Argentine dictator (or dictator's wife, depending on how you look at it) Eva Peron. Evita (1976) repeated the pattern of Jesus Christ Superstar, with its hit record album followed by a successful theatrical run in the West End and then on Broadway.

The Lloyd Webber-Rice partnership, having proved itself again, was severed (Rice went on to write Chess), and Lloyd Webber next wrote a musical revue based on T.S. Eliot's whimsical poems about Cats (1981). This time, the show came before the album, and it's still running. By this time, Lloyd Webber had largely abandoned the rock elements of his work in favor of what critics found a pastiche style that borrowed from classical and opera sources. He had also become a brand name (and a corporation, the Really Useful Company) that assured at least a modest success for subsequent shows, though critics were often unimpressed with his efforts.

Downgrading the status of his lyricists, Lloyd Webber went on to a series of successful shows (Song and Dance, Starlight Express) before scoring another long- (and still-) running hit in 1987 (1988 in New York) with a musical adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera. Aspects of Love (1989-1990) was less successful, however. Lloyd Webber debuted a musical adaptation of the Billy Wilder film Sunset Boulevard in the early '90s, and it proved to be one of his rare disappointments, failing to earn either good reviews or healthy ticket sales. In 1996, Alan Parker adapted Evita for the screen; Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice contributed a new song, "You Must Love Me," to the production, which starred Madonna. "You Must Love Me" won the Best Original Song award at the 1997 Academy Awards. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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I Saw Cats on Broadway when I was Little
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cameron_fong
I can't listen to Cats without smiling the whole time =D
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Lol I'm a total cats the musical addict !��
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This is one of my favorite plays!! ^_^
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I love the song "Memory". I'm learning it in my voice lessons. Gotta love it! :) <3
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Get to be in this. Hope I get the lead. Probably will because I'm at the top of age range
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donkey123jen
Had front row tickets for my birthday which was last Friday. It was amazing
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tesfam41
This song is just beautiful... . I love this!!!!
>^· -·^< <---------- Cat :)
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Seek peek preview watched Barney's great adventure I can't believe I went
Go to see musical called ocean of by
Theater saw them
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I loooooove this song and broadway show. I have it on VCR. Yes, I go old school. :)
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I love this play!
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Cats
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Spotlight forever first met hot teen sweetheart drop heart my had first crush John dee Luca watch them musical broadway fan too teen beach movie
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briannakay20 1 5 8
I am doing this musical at my high school. I am Jemima and I am really excited.
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Love this song it is my favorite song in cats but I adore the whole musical I see it four or five times and mcavity still terrifies me but I and always happy when I see it cat is falous
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doublelime21
I'm doing this play and I want to be Demeter :) !!!!
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wait4u63
does anyone else notice that pandora got the lyrics wrong for The Rum Tum Tugger?
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Skimbleshank s ! The railway cat!! :)
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Macavity!!
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Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer ! ! ♥☺
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Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
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My sister and dad were in this play. It was awesome
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kaylaraschke
I love CATS so much! The music is beautiful! Go jemima!!
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I love this one! :D
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thumbp13
I never get tired of this one!!!
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Cats is one of the most enjoyable shows of the last part of the last century. The music transcends all sides of life; from the silly to the tragic, and every thing in between. I can never get enough of it. I would love to see a live performance. It must be very difficult to stage. Maybe someday.
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ashlyn.weis
I'm doin this play in Jamestown ND
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yeaitsjared
��
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tangmeijie
Beautiful :,(
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As I listen to Memory it makes me remember my mother putting on the CATS musical for my sister and I and we would point out which cat looked like ours ( we had 5) just a great musical even as I am growing up
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I love love love this musical I have seen it four times live and can not wait to see it for a fifth time
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When I was little, I would watch the movie at least once a day!!!!!!!! I know every word to every song!!!!!!!! !
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Amazing <3<3<3<3<3
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has a good to it what can one say about perfection oh there never was there
a cat so clever as magical mr misttoflees
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has a good beat to it...
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ritasimsan20 0 0
What can one say about perfection?
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Oh well there never was there ever a cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoflees!
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cool....
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alemmist
rock on!

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