The YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On continues its free, full-length recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, with the filmed staging of Cats available May 15 at 2 PM ET for 48 hours. As previously announced, Lloyd Webber will offer live audio commentary in one of two streams available to watch.
Viewers can watch the stream above or on YouTube during a live watch party, starting May 15 at 7 PM ET. Follow along using the hashtag #JellicleBall on Twitter, and flip through Playbill's online program for the live watch party—including full song and cast lists, production photos, and supplemental videos—here. The special program was created using Playbill's build-your-own platform PLAYBILLder.
Returning to the Cats stage as Grizabella for the 1998 presentation was Elaine Paige, who originated the role in the West End. Ken Page also returned as Old Deuteronomy after originating the role on Broadway. Joining the pair are John Mills as Gus the Theatre Cat, Bryn Walters as Macavity, and Jacob Brent as Mistoffelees.
Original Broadway and West End choreographer Gillian Lynne directed and choreographed the stage proceedings while David Mallet lead the camera direction.
Cats features music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. The musical follows a community of felines who gather for the Jellicle Ball, at which one among them is chosen to ascend to the supernatural Heaviside Layer. The original Broadway production, which opened in 1982, won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Original Score.
The musical follows the May 8–10 streaming of By Jeeves, which raised money for The Actors Fund and other charities. Donations are encouraged to support industry professionals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Shows Must Go On has also already aired Andrew Lloyd Webber — The Royal Albert Hall Celebration, the 2011 Australian production of Love Never Dies, the 25th anniversary presentation ofThe Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the 2012 U.K. arena tour production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The musical re-broadcasts are made possible through permission by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group. Cats will be the last streamed recording for the time being.