The Tony-winning musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber that first opened in the West End in 1981 will transport Malaysian audience into a fantasy world inhabited by singing felines. Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical about a tribe of flighty cats called the Jellicles will make its second staging for a limited time at Istana Budaya from January 16 to 26 in 2020.
Cats was last performed in Kuala Lumpur in 2002, and it’s returning to our shores next year as part of its international tour. The musical will also be making its way to selected cities in China, Manila and Singapore prior to the Malaysian leg.
Just like Phantom, showing now at Istana Budaya until July 7, the stage production and costumes will not be short of impressive. Luxuriantly outfitted with whiskers and outfits that will send fur flying in all directions, the cast will be prancing and singing to an array of famous soundtracks, punctuated by somersaults and acrobatics.
Cats is one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history. According to its Facebook page, the crew has even performed at “tents in Japan and Korea, an engine shed in Switzerland and school gymnasium across the USA”.
If you need a primer before watching the musical on stage, a film adaptation directed by Tom Hooper of Les Misérables fame will be released at the end of the year, featuring a star-studded cast that includes Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench.