The Cats Musical

The Cats musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber remains a favorite among many fans of musical theater. Read about the history of Cats the Broadway musical here.

The Cats Broadway musical is based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a collection of poems about a unique tribe of cats.

The action takes place in a huge junkyard where the Jellicle cats have gathered for the annual Jellicle Ball. The main event of the Ball is the selection of the cat who will be reborn. The Jellicle cats have an opportunity to compete for that honor. Old Deuteronomy, the tribe’s elder, ends up choosing Grizabella, an old, former beauty kitten who has lost the favor of her peers. Here's an extended summary of this popular musical.

The lyrics are based on T.S. Eliot’s poems "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" and "Preludes". Cats the musical debuted in the West End, London, in 1981. A year later the show opened on Broadway.

Below you will find information about Cats musical numbers, a list of the musical cats, and awards.

Cats musical numbers

Here are some of the musical numbers of this beloved show.

--Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats

--The Naming of Cats

--The Old Gumbie Cat

--The Rum Tum Tugger

--Grizabella: The Glamour Cat

--Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer

--Old Deuteronomy

--The Jellicle Ball

--Gus: The Theater Cat

--Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat

--Macavity: The Mystery Cat

--Mr. Mistoffelees


--The Ad-Dressing of Cats

Cats musical characters - the musical cats

Here are the Jellicle cats, mentioned in alphabetical order:


Asparagus (Gus)


Bustopher Jones















Old Deuteronomy



Rum Tum Tugger


Rumpus Cat





Victoria The White Cat

Cats the Musical - Production and Cast

Composer - Andrew Lloyd Webber

Lyrics by - T.S. Elliot (based on his poems), Andrew Lloyd Webber, Trevor Nunn, and Richard Stilgoe.

Director - Trevor Nunn

Coreographer - Gillian Lynne

Original Cast:

Kenneth Ard, Betty Buckley, René Ceballos, René Clemente, Wendy Edmead, Steven Gelfer, Harry Groener, Stephen Hanan, Robert Hoshour, Janet L. Hubert, Reed Jones, Whitney Kershaw, Donna King, Christine Langner, Terrence V. Mann, Anna McNeely, Héctor Jaime Mercado, Cynthia Onrubia, Ken Page, Timothy Scott, Herman W. Sebek, Bonnie Simmons, Walter Charles, Susan Powers, Carol Richards, Joel Robertson.


Cats the Musical won the following awards:

1983 Tony Award

Best Musical

Best Book of a Musical

Best Original Score

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Best Costume Design

Best Lighting Design

Best Direction of a Musical

1983 Drama Desk Award

Outstanding Music

Outstanding Costume Design

Outstanding Lighting Design

Great Gift Idea

Do your cat loving friends also love music and/or musical theater? Do they love Cats the Broadway musical? You can give the DVD or the soundtrack. They will love it.

Fun activity

A great activity for children of all ages is to dress up as one of the Cats. You can use stage makeup to create your own Cats musical makeup. This is a fun choice for Halloween, too.

Related Links

More Cats the Musical

Lyrics to the song Memory

Leave Cats Musical and return to Cat Videos

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