Great Performances: Season 27, Episode 3

Cats (27 Oct. 1998)

TV Episode  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music
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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


Das weltweit beliebteste Musical von Andrew Lloyd Webber - Die Erinnerung wird immer bleiben! (The worldwide most liked musical of Andrew Lloyd Webber - The memory will last forever!) See more »


See all certifications »





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?


Gillian Lynne who staged and choreographed the original London production of "CATS" has always been a key part of the original creative team of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group's musical "CATS". With every new staging of the musical's production, the team has expanded and revised every aspect of the original production's staging and direction. John Napier's sets have been newly designed, with the feline fur costumes, front (hand) and hind (feet with legging) paws, fur-head-piece and facial feline make-up design treatment changing in styling and treatment in every new staged production. The original 900,000 pounds budgeted London musical-production sets and costume designs were designed in a "stylish-80's punk rock colorfully wild look" primarily because of budget confines. The original cat characters had the appearance of very scruffy alley cats with mangy stiff full fur patches. When the production opened in New York City at the Winter Garden Theatre on 7 October 1982, because of the London success, was budgeted for $5,000,000, the scenery and costumes were allocated a much larger budget because of the move across the pond to a Broadway transition. The cast's new cat costumes became sophisticated and slicker with not so much of the mangy alley cat look, loosing the "vivid colorful 80's punk rock wild look". Gillian Lynne re-staged and re-choreographed every dance movement and sequence. In every new production staged in a foreign country, each production is treated as an entirely new designed stage production - no design repeated. Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1998 Universal Studios film adaptation of the stage musical became the slickest look in the production's scenic design, costume and make-up design, lighting and the choreographed musical staging. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gillian Lynne insisted the film's production values and elements retain a theatrical premise by staging and choreographing the musical on an actual London, The Adelphi Theatre's stage. The 1998 Universal Studios film's sets, lighting, and feline costumes, head-pieces and make-up epitomize how much creative detail has been lavished on the stylish musical's transition from the "original London stage production design 80's punk mangy alley cat look" to an elaborately staged "film feline couturier look". 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 »


Rum Tum Tugger: And we all say... oh well I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistofelees!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits show clips of each person in their characters costume from the video along with their name and character role. See more »


Referenced in The Phantom of the Opera (2004) See more »


The Rum Tum Tugger
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot
Performed by John Partridge and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

The best musical Now and Forever!
22 October 2001 | by (Moscow, Russia) – See all my reviews

Fantastic! The best musical and the best show of all times makes a magnificent film. It has advantage of showing everything in details and details are grand. Scenery, costumes and make-up are perfect. Music is superb (especially Jellicle Ball and Macavity). The best thing about the movie is certainly the cast. Actors not only sing and dance splendidly but also imitate feline movements and manners amazingly well. And how do they act! I absolutely adore Michael Gruber as manly and handsome Munkustrap. Elaine Paige as Grizabella would leave nobody indifferent. Veerle Casteleyn with her wonderful eyes is the most touching Jemima, John Partridge is irresistibly attractive and funny Rum Tum Tagger, Phyllida Crawley-Smith is very graceful Victoria, Jacob Brent is charming Mistoffelees, Aeva May and Rosmary Ford make a beautiful pair of adult cats: reserved Demeter and sensuous Bombalurina. Sir John Mills is a little unexpected guest star, but he is perfect Gus the Theatre Cat ("the star of the highest degree"). Eliote's text is witty, and there are a lot of amusing scenes in the show. My favourite ones are The Gumbie Cat, Mangojerry and Rumpleteaser, Pekes and the Pollicles, Scimbleshanks the Railway Cat. Watching this film is an endless joy for my family and me.

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