A Tony for Cats!
The 37th Annual Tony Awards was held at Manhattan’s Gershwin Theatre on June 5, 1983. One of the victors for this special evening was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS, bagging the honors for Best Musical.
CATS is a musical based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats recalled by Webber as one of his favorite books during childhood. The play is about the Jellicles, a tribe of cats, and the night they decide on which cat rightfully deserves to ascend to the Heaviside Layer (their own version of heaven) and start a new life.
Produced by acclaimed British theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh and Webber’s Really Useful Group, CATS premiered in the West End in 1981 and debuted on Broadway in 1982. It popularized the song ‘Memory, ’ the lyrics of which were written by CATS director Trevor Nunn.
Betty Buckley won the award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber bagged the Tony for Best Original Score.
CATS is one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history. It has been translated in as many as twenty languages, adapted into a made-for-TV film, and performed in various cities around the globe. The last tour of the musical was only earlier this year.