The musical is based on TS Elliot's poetry. His estate granted Andrew Lloyd Webber the rights to convert those poems into songs but not to develop any further material for the production, which is why the musical has no narrative other than those poems.
Of course, it has a narrative, although a shallow one that takes a second seat to the show's physical and musical action. For those who are still perplexed—and we don't blame you—a here's primer on what Cats is all about. Cats, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is based on a collection of poetry by T.S. Eliot. The script, written by Lloyd Webber, uses this material as a springboard for songs that often explore relationships (both romantic and familial), politics, life in the city, and other topics.
So yes, it's based on a real life poet named T.S. Eliot who did live in London during the early part of the 20th century. But that's about all that connection, clear or not, to the musical will help you understand.
Now, back to the question at hand: Is the musical "Cats" based on a true story? Well, only time will tell if this new production follows in the footsteps of its predecessor that played on Broadway from 1996-2003. However, we can say with confidence that it's not a biography of Eliot or anyone else involved with the project. It's also not a documentary; the fictional story told through song makes many references to actual people and events from the past but they're mostly there to help explain how the characters relate to each other or what motivates them to act as they do. Finally, it's not a mock-up scene either - the entire production is completely imaginary.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's sung-through musical Cats is based on T. S. Eliot's 1939 poetry work Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. The musical has music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book by James Bond. It first opened at the London Palladium on 23 February 1981 and later moved to its permanent home, the New London Theatre, where it has been playing ever since.
Cats features a score that includes songs that have become popular standards. These include "Memory" ("I remember a cat named Tom"), "Don't go away," "She says she needs me but she means she wants me" ("Call Me Tomorrow"), and "I want my eyes closed (but they're open)". The show also contains some of Lloyd Webber's most famous tunes including "The Music of the Night", "Love Is Love", and "Suddenly One Day".
Cats was an immediate success upon opening at the Palladium. The original cast album went straight to number one on both the British and American albums charts. This made Cats only the second British pop record to do so (after The Beatles' Help!). The show has had many successful revivals and continues to be performed all over the world.
The original Cats is based on a collection of T.S. Eliot poetry and, as such, lacks a narrative plot to bring its numerous songs together. It's a production more concerned in dancing than storytelling, with costumes and sets taking precedence over the story. However, it does contain some scenes or sequences from time to time that are found in both the play and the musical.
Below is a list of all the songs in the original Broadway production of Cats and their equivalents in the current revival production:
"Memory" - sung by Grizabella after she escapes from the circus
"I've Been Here Before (Do You Remember?)" - performed by Felicity during her audition for Jeff before he realizes he has met Gizmo
"Grizabella" - performed by all of the characters after they have come across Grizabella crying in front of the circus tent.
"The Dream We Have Tonight" - performed by all of the characters after they have come across Miss Simpkins in the cemetery.
"A Change Would Do Her Good" - performed by Mrs. Meldrum after she finds out about Miss Simpkins' death.
"Beauty Is Beauty" - performed by all of the girls after they have come across Cookie in the bakery.
Cats is weak in narrative, heavy on characters, and laced with phrases made up by T.S. Eliot for his 1939 poetry collection, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which served as the inspiration for the musical. The original production opened on May 20, 1981, at New York's Public Theater. It was directed by Joe Layton with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart (who also wrote the book). The role of Tom was originated by Paul Williams who received a Grammy Award for his performance.
The story focuses on a tribe of cats led by a tomcat named Tom who are looking for a new home. When he discovers that there is a woman in town who is about to get married, he tries to stop the wedding so he can find a home for his tribe. However, when Tom fails, the woman gets married anyway. Later on, Tom finds out that she had been planning to adopt some kittens from another cat named Scratch who is also looking for a home. So, together, they bring home several homeless cats to be their family.
Cats features an ensemble cast of characters, most notably Imelda Staunton and Michael Crawford as the voices of Grizaffi and Griddlebone, respectively.
Eliot. Eliot created "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" for his godchildren after his profound conversion to Christianity. As a result, CATS is similar to a Christian morality story. Remember that the film was based on a charming Christian poem for children, and you'll be able to appreciate CATS in a lighthearted, funny manner.
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"Memory" is a show music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Trevor Nunn based on T. S. Eliot's poetry. It was composed for the 1981 musical Cats and is mostly performed by the character Grizabella as a melancholy reminiscence of her dazzling past and a cry for acceptance.
Grizabella sings about how she used to have a lot of fame until she was killed by Count Catula. After that, she realizes that she is forgotten and spends most of her time crying in a corner of the forest.
Cats has been praised for its use of music and has been called "the greatest musical of all time". The original cast album has sold over 15 million copies and is considered one of the best-selling albums of all time. A film adaptation directed by Tom Hooper was released in 2018. A sequel is scheduled for release in 2020.
Following Grizabella's example, other characters also sing about their own experiences with memory. Some of them are featured on singles while others appear only in concert performances. These songs serve as an integral part of the narrative structure of the musical and help develop the characters by giving them opportunity to express themselves emotionally through music.
The main theme song was originally titled "Memory". It was introduced in the first act when Grizella performs it with her friends (who are actually voices inside her head) before going on stage herself.