‘Cats’ bows in Denmark

The popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats” will make its Scandinavian debut next season at Copenhagen’s remodeled Det Ny Theater.

Pundits believe the city’s mostly state-supported legit scene is ready for free-market stage entertainment on such a grand scale.

Scandinavia’s population of 19 million is rapidly warming to musicals. Though subsidized, Copenhagen’s Gladsaxe theater has packed in 70,000 viewers since January with a local, original musical version of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” while the Ostre Gasvark theater is also filled with a cut-rate version of “Les Miserables,” which has pulled in over 140,000 people in six months.

In both Sweden and Norway, knockoff versions of Broadway shows have pulled down nice coin.

Det Ny Teater toppers BentMejding and Niels-Bo Valbro are optimistic that despite the glut of musicals, “Cats” will pull theatergoers into the restored turn-of-the-century building. Said Mejding, “Everyone seems to be staging musicals these days, but we trust audiences will appreciate the real thing presented in a first-class auditorium.”

The planned one-year production of “Cats” will be run entirely without state aid — something alien to most local producers, but something Mejding and Valbro have done for the last decade.

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