It’s now and forever, all over again: “Cats,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit that helped usher in the age of the British megamusical, will return to Broadway this summer.
The revival seemed more a matter of when than if, since Lloyd Webber — already represented on Broadway with record-breaking long runner “The Phantom of the Opera” and what looks to be a new-minted hit, “School of Rock” — had been talking up the potential of a New York run of “Cats” for months. A new 2014 production in London, starring former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, became an attention-getting success.
Trevor Nunn, the original director of “Cats,” will return to stage the new Broadway production, joined this time by “Hamilton” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, with nod to the original choreography and assistant direction of Gillian Lynne.
Opening in New York in 1982, “Cats” proved a hugely influential title, helping to revitalize a flagging Broadway and becoming one of musical theater’s first global brand names. Its 18-year run was the longest in Broadway history, until that landmark was surpassed Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom.”
The Shubert Organization and the Nederlander Organization, two Broadway theater owners that have hosted Lloyd Webber musicals in the past, will produce this staging of “Cats,” licensed by Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group. Nina Lannan is on board as executive producer.
“Cats” will play the Neil Simon Theater, one of the venues owned by the Nederlanders, in a run that begins previews July 14 prior to an Aug. 2 opening. No casting has yet been set, although Scherzinger has said she was in talks to join the Stateside version.