Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies
“The overriding spirit of the revival appears to be the familiar motto: Don’t mess with success...The most significant nod to the intervening decades and changing tastes is the hiring of Andy Blankenbuehler...The felines prance and romp and occasionally hiss at one another as they introduce themselves in songs that provide the show’s greatest allure, as well as its variety. Mr. Lloyd Webber is a musical magpie...The cast for the revival is largely excellent." Full Review
"Nunn seems to have revisited the material with the attitude, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Despite new choreography and cutting-edge lighting, it still carries a retro vibe...Plot is ancillary to a beautiful fantasy conveyed through music and dance...Still, if you look around and see the remarkable creativity and innovation happening on Broadway these days, it is hard to view this production as anything more than a museum piece." Full Review
"A sweet and endearing revival...While not every role requires triple-threat expertise, 'Cats' makes some serious acting, singing and dancing demands on its company and Nunn's litter is packed with terrific performers...Pop star Leona Lewis has been cast as Grizabella. She has no acting credits in her bio and it shows, making the evening's climactic moment a sad letdown." Full Review
“Memories could be fatal to this revival—specifically, the memory of Betty Buckley as Grizabella, singing ‘Memory'...Leona Lewis isn’t in her league. Happily, nothing as catty can be said of the rest of this fabulous revival of the 1981 musical phenom...A corps of brilliant dancers leap with feline agility through every style of dance, from toe-tapping Broadway jazz steps to the classic ballet moves...The genius of the show is in the dancing...The dancers are in perfectly splendid form." Full Review
"Only hardcore fans will be able to spot the differences in this new version...The biggest change is the new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler...More athletic and stylistically diverse than before, the dancing here is particularly spectacular...Lewis reveals her lack of acting experience with her less than galvanizing Grizabella, but her powerful singing is not to be faulted...Enough time has passed for a new generation of theatergoers to embrace the show." Full Review
“This was a lost opportunity. Rather than lamely re-creating the original, why not orchestrate the score for acoustic instruments, redo the costumes and dances, and find fresh drama underneath the tacky, dated pageantry? Instead we get a taxidermied pet. If there is heart to the piece, it’s Grizabella, the faded, outcast 'glamour cat.' British crooner Leona Lewis has a big, yearning voice, but even her (heavily amplified) yowling of 'Memory' can’t make the past worth revisiting.” Full Review
“The wan revival at least gets the lighting right...No greater ambition seems to have animated the revival as a whole. Other than Katz’s spectacular lighting, the design and staging are at best equivalent to the original’s, even after decades of adjustments and second thoughts...Seeing it 34 years later, in a Broadway environment that has recently produced the likes of ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Fun Home’, is to experience something milder and less dangerous than it once seemed.” Full Review
"The first Broadway revival of 'Cats,' which is neither wholly reimagined nor an exact replica of the original, is unlikely to turn off 'Cats'-lovers, nor win over 'Cats'-loathers. It works best as a showcase for the energetic young cast and what it does best – which is dance...If the lyrics are largely lost in the swirl, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score holds up. The performances, though, are uneven." Full Review
“Trevor Nunn's production gives this 35-year-old show the sparkle and precision of a brand-new hit...Best of all is a cast superbly equipped to mine every bit of entertainment value in this extremely peculiar material...It's hard to escape the feeling that a very casual piece of source material has been blown up far beyond its limits into something only intermittently charming-and often perplexing...If you're a 'Cats' person, you're probably going to have a great time.” Full Review
"'Cats' is pure spectacle…It is shimmering, leaping, booty shaking spectacle. There should be a Tony for the ensemble of dancers in this production. They ARE the production…Ms. Lewis appears uncertain of what she should do onstage. An actor she is not. A mighty singer she is...After a bit, all these impeccably costumed folks begin to blend together in a tabby tuffet that becomes too much of a good thing." Full Review
“Most of the musical numbers are ballads that describe the appearance and personality of the characters but suggest no particular stage action...Andy Blankenbuehler has brisked up Gillian Lynne’s steps with touches of hip-hoppery, but they’re still dullish...Mr. Napier also designed the cat suits...They held my attention when nothing else did, which was usually...If you loved ‘Cats’ as a child and long to let your memories of ‘Memory’ live again, you certainly won’t be disappointed." Full Review
"If the producers could not recreate the opulence of the original production, perhaps they should have started from scratch and completely reimagined 'Cats'...Lewis displays zero acting ability and gives a shaky rendition of the pop aria 'Memory.' The rest of the cast is terrific...The essential delights of 'Cats' are still there, including its electrifying dance sequences and flashy visual effects. If you’re a fan of the show, by all means, go." Full Review
"The revival, again directed by Trevor Nunn, is absolutely as entertaining as initially it was...New choreographer, Tony-winning Andy Blankenbuehler, has been respectfully true to Gillian Lynne’s seminal work while beautifully enhancing it...There are so many astonishing aspects to 'Cats' that it’s a challenge to decide where to continue the praise. The cast isn’t a bad place...The moving bodies are mesmerizing, and Blankenbuehler makes certain the movement rarely slows." Full Review
"Your destination is a good time. The musical gets you there with haste and precision under ideal conditions; this revival still manages, though it trips up more than it ought to...These stumbles are primarily due to the new choreography...Blankenbuehler's dances are attractive and kinetic almost to the point of being needlessly busy...Is it ever going to be a revered classic? Doubtful...But this production proves, despite its missteps, that it's capable of harnessing pure theatrical enjoyment." Full Review
"Watching the lively yet enervating revival staged by Trevor Nunn, who directed the original 34 years ago, you can’t help but wonder how its first run lasted 18 years. Plotless, repetitive, nonsensical, the ’80s relic quickly turns tiresome enough to make you wish for a catnap. So much energy spent, so little impact...At least the talented litter of hoofers and belters under gobs of makeup and in stretchy, body-hugging catsuits offers some saving grace...'Cats' 2.0—now and whatever." Full Review
"No doubt the success of the 2014 revival of 'Cats' in London encouraged the producers to bring it back to New York. And wisely, they've done so with a new cast of top to bottom standouts and vital and fresh choreography that retained the feeling of the original. This does indeed boost the show's strong points...The ballet sequences seem especially take-your-breath-way spectacular...'Cats' may not be a great musical, but it's a great visual spectacle expertly performed." Full Review
"Seeing the 'Cats' revival was like revisiting an old magician friend, but one that I had hoped would have tried a few new tricks...The professionals that have come together to perform these iconic songs are the best of the best...'Memory' is the song that I’m guessing we all were waiting for...Lewis sings the song gloriously, and I was pleased. But, and here’s the whole thing, it doesn’t feel fresh, nor new in any way...If you’ve never seen the show, it’s worth the visit." Full Review
"There is nothing really new in this current revival of 'Cats'...Unchanged is the somewhat discordant presence of what Mr. Webber has imagined as the main character of 'Cats:' the Glamor Cat Grizabella...That said, the named Cats and the Cats chorus provides sufficient energy to overcome this significant flaw in the current production...'Cats' will continue to excite the senses of the young and the not so young and the musical will still embody the brilliance of the poetry." Full Review
"It’s not been revamped or re-thought, just taken out of mothballs...Andy Blankenbuehler was brought in to bring something more modern to Gillian Lynne’s original choreography, which was slinky and jazzy. He has pretty much failed...The theatrical evolutions since 1982 make 'Cats' seem quaint and unsubstantial...For ‘Cats’ fans, none of this will register. But for those of us who find the show as ineffable and inscrutable as cats themselves, it’s a tedious, clawing mess.” Full Review
"Unlikely to disappoint...fans...For the resistant rest of us, it remains an overblown kiddie show...Director Trevor Nunn has put together a first-rate cast of singers and dancers, who prowl the aisles and crawl onstage through sewer tunnels with tireless enthusiasm. The exception is Leona Lewis, oddly shrill and steely as Grizabella...Best of all is the refreshed choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, who has replaced Gillian Lynne’s compilation of stock moves with variety and invention.” Full Review
"The show, which has been fairly faithfully reproduced by original director Trevor Nunn, has the same love-it or hate-it qualities it always did. For me, the plusses, led by the extraordinary choreography (danced by one of the finest ensembles ever assembled for Broadway), don’t outweigh the minuses, especially the thin plot and often nonsensical lyrics...As for those performers, they are a slightly mixed litter...We could do worse (and better) than this one." Full Review
"It’s kitschy and fun, sometimes quite touching, and marvelously well done. It’ll likely be very nostalgic for anyone who saw the show before, and, I’m guessing, a treat for people who haven’t, and don’t go expecting a profound theatrical experience. 'Cats' is a one-of-a-kind entertainment, and I can’t imagine a young, budding theater-lover, in particular, not being entranced." Full Review
“A nostalgia trip with updated choreography, this new ‘Cats’ is peppy and kinetic, if sometimes a tad monotonous...Blankenbuehler’s work acutely enhances the personality of each cat...Full of catchy pop tunes many of us have known for decades. Webber’s songs don’t have the tightest of melodies, but I’ll take ‘Cats’ over ‘School of Rock’ any day. As a wistful recollection, ‘Cats’ is guaranteed to leave you feline groovy.” Full Review
"This is above all a spectacle with appeal to those who get theatergoing kicks from costumes, lighting, cast members roaming the aisles to sing to spectators, and assorted scenic stunts...This show, again directed by Trevor Nunn, is among the most steadily choreographed productions on Broadway at the moment...The show is enlivened by individual turns that are appealing by any standard." Full Review
"The revival is quite a mixed bag…Ricky Ubeda’s dazzling Mistoffelees is indeed magical...My biggest criticism is the key role of Grizabella...Leona Lewis conveys none of Grizabella’s sense of loss and pathos. And without that, she’s just a pop star in a cat suit...That said, it’s hard to knock a show that offers such a visceral thrill. The combination of Lloyd Webber’s catchy tunes and the sight of those gorgeously fit bodies in constant motion alone give a theatre lover reason to pause." Full Review
See it if you are nostalgic for the original production or want to see some of Broadway's best dancers perform some difficult choreography
Don't see it if you need a strong story line--this doesn't really have one--or if you are looking for something new or updated.
See it if You’ve never seen Cats. It’s historical and a piece of theatre history. See it if you LOVE cats because those people exist.
Don't see it if You want something new, you want new choreography or a very updated production.
See it if it's on your list of shows to see & have children. The cats come out into the audience so that's a great feature and the costumes are great.
Don't see it if you're expected an all-around great show, lots of singing but not much content.
See it if you've never seen this iconic, getting-dusty Andrew Lloyd Webber work and need to check it off the "to-see" list; don't mind a lack of plot.
Don't see it if you require realism, intense drama, actors who look like they're not wearing Halloween costumes; newer, resonant stories; if you hate music.
See it if You love a Webber score and/or want to see a show that's terrifically choreographed. There's nothing more to it than that.
Don't see it if You want a show with a plot. This is a dance musical. If you go in thinking it's going to be sophisticated, you won't like it.
See it if you enjoy Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals. The transformation of humans into Cats is great but not enough. 1 fabulous song but enjoyable.
Don't see it if you want to hum songs while leaving the show. There is only one great ballad.
See it if you want to be able to go on a Broadway stage (the audience is allowed to go onstage during intermission).
Don't see it if you want a coherent show with a clear plot and relatable characters.
See it if You enjoy the score of "Cats" or would like to say you had the experience of seeing this long-running musical.
Don't see it if You are looking for a plot, you do not like humans in cat costumes
See it if you have never seen Cats, put it on your list of shows to see. It is a great re-production of the original. The staging & costumes are great
Don't see it if you are looking for something with a through story line.
See it if You love Andrew Lloyd Webber and don't need a plot. You are into twirling and dancing people dressed as cats. You love the song memories.
Don't see it if You need a plot. Don't mind the overrated. Can't handle a 2-hour show about cats. Are looking for a broadway musical not performance art.
See it if you want to see the fantastic original choreography, hear the same old great tunes you know from the cassette tapes, very enjoyable!
Don't see it if you can't stand the idea of no plot in your shows, or already know you hate Lloyd-Webber
See it if you love the material/if you want a good laugh. It's cute.
Don't see it if you are looking for something serious and plot-driven. Choreography/staging were offensively bad and the Rum Tum Tugger was fat and sloppy.
See it if You like Andrew Lloyd Webber and your favorite song is Memory
Don't see it if you want good acting, quality technique from dancers, a bore easily or is you are expecting the original production quality. It's not there!
See it if you never saw the original. You'll have nothing to compare it to. Cats is epic & the original @ The Winter Garden should have never closed.
Don't see it if you're personally attached to the original choreography & staging. All changes, additions & omissions were excruciatingly obvious & painful.
See it if you like talented dancers doing their thing.
Don't see it if you like musicals with plots, musicals you can understand, or if you don't like humans dancing dressed as cats.