Theater: O That Anthropomorphical Rag

CATS

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot

The ecology of Broadway demands megahits, the kind of supercharged shows that most ordinary playgoers have to wait months to see. Cats qualifies. To a great extent, this musical is a phenomenon, a process not substantially different from unveiling a new car model or marketing a more dazzling toothpaste.

The tom-toms of publicity began thrumming from the moment Cats registered as a smash hit in May 1981 in London, where it is still selling out. By last week's...

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