The acclaimed revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award- winning musical CATS will have its star-studded Gala Premiere tonight, Tuesday, 9 January at the Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The Gala Night audience will include invited VIPs, dignitaries, show sponsors and a host of local celebrities such as Cissy Wang, Irene Wang, Ankie Beilke, Sabrina Leung, Eunis Chan and Bianca Wu.
Earlier this afternoon, members of the media were treated to a special preview of CATS with the cast performing a selection of show numbers including ‘Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats’, ‘Rum Tum Tugger’ and the iconic song ‘Memory’ in full make-up and costumes live on stage, bringing our favourite feline characters to life.
“I am absolutely delighted the revival production of CATS has received such a warm welcome back to Hong Kong. The outstanding cast was greeted with standing ovations and cat calls galore by Hong Kong audiences at the preview performances. Once again, this stunning masterpiece will delight a new generation of theatre fans. It’s time to let the memory live again!”
The spectacular production will continue to thrill Hong Kong audiences until 11 February, 2018.Tickets are available online at www.hkticketing.com, or by phone at 31-288-288. Seats can also be obtained at all HK Ticketing or Tom Lee outlets in person. Don’t miss your last chance to catch this legendary musical while you still can!
The hit revival was reworked by the original creative team - Director Trevor Nunn, Choreographer & Associate Director Gillian Lynne, Set Designer John Napier and Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber – and opened at the famous London Palladium in 2014, with Nicole Scherzinger, lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls as Grizabella, and received excellent reviews. The season was such a triumph that it was extended to April 2015, and then returned for a second season from October 2015 to January 2016, with Beverley Knight as Grizabella, whose performance was equally acclaimed.
Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show is alive with our favourite feline characters from the Jellicle tribe of Cats, including Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees, Macavity, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy, Grizabella and Skimbleshanks.
On one special moonlit night each year, the Jellicle Cats reunite in a rubbish dump for the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories, extolling the unique abilities and special traits that make them such an exceptional tribe. Their wise and benevolent leader, Old Deuteronomy, must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.
Grizabella, a one-time glamour cat who left the tribe years ago to explore the outside world, now wants to return to the fold. But she is shunned by the rest of the tribe and can only look back on her glorious past as she sings ‘Memory’.
The poignant song, with its spine-tingling climactic top notes, has become one of the biggest hits from the world of musical theatre, recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.
In addition to the magnificent musical score composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, CATS is renowned for its extraordinary choreography from Gillian Lynne. Her ability to fuse feline movement and almost-human characteristics with contemporary dance moves has resulted in some of the most iconic and energetic choreography ever seen on the theatre stage.
John Napier’s set design is equally inventive. A junkyard playground for cats has been created, specially constructed to a cat’s scale - three and a bit times life size – complete with an abandoned car, massive tyres, a bicycle and about 1,500 pieces of everyday rubbish. The fantastical set spills over into the theatre, with carnival lighting hung all the way to the rafters.
One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, CATS received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. The ground-breaking production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, and ran for 18 years.
Since its world premiere, CATS has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 15 languages and has been seen by more than 81 million people worldwide. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album.
CATS is quite simply a phenomenon. Featuring a fantastical oversized set, a superb score, inspired choreography and mischievous costumes and make-up, CATS is a brilliant song and dance spectacular not to be missed.
“The cat’s whiskers...a triumphant piece of musical theatre...” SUNDAY TIMES, UK
“Magical! The setting is a miracle of design. Go on...purr with pleasure” DAILY MIRROR, UK
“A brilliantly conceived song and dance spectacular” SUNDAY EXPRESS, UK
“Many thrilling moments... Extraordinary ingenuity” SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, UK
“ . . Slick and polished . . . great fun.” THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, UK
Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Ian Productions present the Cameron Macintosh and The Really Useful Theatre production of CATS.
Originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company.