National tour brings award-winning musical to BUNov. 30, 2004
By NELSON STAATS, reporter
This Friday, 2,500 cats will invade Waco.
The feline props are part of the longest-running touring show in U.S. history, Cats, which is coming to Waco Hall Friday and Saturday.
Based on T.S. Elliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Cats tells the story of several junkyard cats including Jennyanydots and Rum Tug Tugger. The cats, along with their leader Old Deuteronomy, take audiences along a journey of poetry, song and dance.
Critics at England's Sunday Times have hailed Cats as "a triumphant piece of musical theatre" and call it among the most exhilarating and innovative musicals ever staged.
Cats opened on May 11, 1981 at the New London Theatre in the West End, where it ran for 21 years. Since then, Cats has been showered with accolades and awards. In 1983, the legendary musical won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Lighting and Best Costumes.
The most distinguished milestone came in year eight. After 3,358 performances, Cats became the longest-running musical in the history of British theatre. Cats has also achieved the same honor in New York, where it is the largest single generator of jobs in Broadway history. The musical's appeal has reached beyond the traditional theatre powerhouses of Broadway and London's West End. Cats has been presented in 26 countries and more than 300 cities in 10 languages.
The show's most well known song is "Memory." Since its creation, "Memory" has been recorded by over 150 artists, from Barbara Streisand to Liberace. Barry Manilow's rendition was a Top 40 hit in the United States.
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber composed "Memory" as well as the other pieces in Cats. In addition to his work with Cats, Webber is composer of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera and Evita among others. Webber's awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Oscar. He was knighted in 1992.
Tickets to Friday and Saturday's 8 p.m. shows can be purchased online at www.starticketsplus.com for $32.50 to $45. A limited number of discounted student tickets are also available at the Baylor ticket office in the Bill Daniel Student Center.