Great Performances: Season 27, Episode 3

Cats (27 Oct. 1998)

TV Episode  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,146 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 3 critic

"Jellicle" cats join for a Jellicle ball where they rejoice with their leader, Old Deuteronomy. One cat will be chosen to go to the "Heavyside Layer" and be reborn. The cats introduce themselves.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Elaine Paige ...
Gus the Theatrical Cat
Rosemarie Ford ...
Michael Gruber ...
John Partridge ...
Aeva May ...
Geoffrey Garratt ...
James Barron ...
Jo Gibb ...
Drew Varley ...
Susie McKenna ...
Jennyanydots the Gumbie Cat
Jacob Brent ...
Susan Jane Tanner ...
Phyllida Crowley Smith ...


Cats is a pop-cultural phenomenon that has been performed on stage for more than 50 million patrons in 26 countries for almost 18 years, resulting in more than two billion dollars in ticket sales. Now that Cats has finally made it to the small screen, attention must be paid not just by fans of this critic-proof show, but also by those entertainment mavens who have somehow avoided it until now. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Now and Forever! See more »


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Release Date:

27 October 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the spring of 1980, Peter Shaw and his film-stage actress wife Angela Lansbury Shaw met one memorable day with Andrew Lloyd Webber in his London town house. Andrew Lloyd Webber, playing his piano to pitch, trying to entice Angela into starring as 'Norma Desmond' in his future musical-play adaptation of Billy Wilder's 1950 Paramount film starring Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard". Andrew auditioned 'Norma Desmond's' musical numbers during the session, performing one of 'Norma Desmond's' solo songs "Memory", that 'Norma Desmond' would perform ascending her Sunset Boulevard mansion's foyer staircase. Andy L. Webber needed a finalé song for Elaine Paige, as 'Grizabella', to climb the staircase lowering from the overhead stage flies to the hedge Junk heap, for 'Grizabella's' ascension to feline heaven. The memorable song "Memory" was pulled from Webber's stage musical adaptation "Sunset Boulevard" original score; Webber recycled the song "Memory" in order to complete his "CATS" score. Andrew Loyd. Webber had time to compose a new replacement song for Norma's "Sunset Boulevard" staircase number; opening in London on 12 July 1993 (1,529 performances). See more »


During the last part of "The Gumbie Cat", we see Munkustrap, Jellylorum, Demeter, and Bombalurina helping Jennyanydots take off the Gumbie costume in the front right part of the stage. We see her in her flapper outfit, then there's a shot of the beetles, and in the next shot, Jennyanydots is in the center back of the stage, walking forward, and the others have disappeared. See more »


Old Deuteronomy: With cats, some say one rule is true: don't speak 'til you are spoken to. Myself, I do not hold with that. I say you should address a cat, but always keep in mind that he resents familiarity. You bow, and taking off your hat, address him in this form: O, Cat!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, when it lists additional song voices, Jemima is spelled as Jemmima. See more »


Referenced in The Sixth Sense (1999) See more »


The Jellicle Ball
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot
Performed by Ken Page and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

for musical lovers
7 July 2003 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

I saw this musical 11 years ago in my country and I became in love with it. I knew about the existing film 4 years after it was made. Beautiful memories came to my mind and i think it can not be better. Excellent work. Dances are full of energy, fantastic choreography, costumes and make up, every cat has a unique personality, the cast is incredible, excellent. The music infects you with joy. IT´S A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE.

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