'Cats' 1998 Musical: How and where to watch Andrew Lloyd Weber's iconic work this weekend
Long before Tom Hooper made a musical fantasy movie on Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 stage musical of 'Cats' with a massive star cast, the musical by Webber was a much-beloved piece of broadway.
Based on the poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) by TS Eliot, 'Cats' the musical is composed by Andrew Llyod Webber and is one of the longest-running shows on Broadway. It tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they made the "Jellicle choice". Webber is known for making a lot of his work available on YouTube. In the latest installment of his Shows Must Go On series (since theatre and broadway have been shut in light of the COVID-19 pandemic), he is making 'Cats' the musical free to watch online all through the weekend.
You can watch the entire 'Cats' musical here. Webber is planning to provide live commentary to go along with the show tonight during a live watch party at 7/ 6c on YouTube. You can join in the chat with the hashtag #JellicleBall. The musical will be available to watch through Sunday on May 17, 2020.
The performance is from 1998 and stars Elaine Paige as Grizabella, Ken Page as Old Deuteronomy, John Mills as Gus the Theatre Cat, Bryn Walters as Macavity and Jacob Brent as Mistoffelees.
'Cats' debuted on Broadway on 7 October 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre with a record-breaking $6.2M in ticket pre-sales. Even so, the movie had its fair share of monetary issues that initially deterred investors, but it became an unprecedented commercial success raking in a worldwide gross of $3.5B by 2012. Since Eliot is both the book writer and lyricist, industry insiders estimate that his estate has earned nearly $100M.
The Broadway production ran for 18 years delivering 7,485 performances. In London, production ran for 21 years and 8,949 performances. A 15-year run at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg saw over 6,100 performances.
The success may have prompted Hooper to make the movie, but it was a failed venture. Starring James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Francesca Hayward, the movie was a flop made on a budget of $80-$100M and earning only $75.4M at the box office worldwide. But after factoring other expenses, it was reported by Deadline that the net loss of the film was $113.6M.