Sunday, October 7, 2012

This Day in History October 7, 1982

I have seen this musical live twice (not on Broadway, but fantastic just the same), and it is the most unusual musical I have ever seen.  On this date in 1982, Cats opened on Broadway.  It ran for a total of 7485 performances, and for a long time, it was the longest-running musical in Broadway history (until Phantom of the Opera surpassed it).  Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music, and the lyrics are mainly provided by T.S. Eliot and his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.  There was over six million of advance ticket sales in anticipation of this opening night.  It had already received great acclaim in London.  Had Lloyd Webber not been given the unpublished poetry from Eliot's widow (which introduced Grizabella to the world), he may have not had such a big hit.  The song Memory was what really struck a chord with people and was the big hit from the musical.

The premise of the musical sounds really strange.  When I first heard about it, I didn't figure I would even want to see it.  A bunch of people dressed at cats singing and dancing?  And there is truly no cohesive storyline.  But let me tell you.  My daughter was three and five or six when she saw it with me (she saw it twice, too).  She was mesmerized, and I think she still remembers it to this date.  Give the musical a chance, and you just might find that you like it after all.

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