Les chats Jellicle se réunissent une fois par année au bal des Jellicles où le vieux Deuteronomy choisit un autre vieux chat ou chatte destinés à renaître une nouvelle fois. Cette année, le bal est troublé par l'arrivée de Macavity, qui va capturer le vieux Deuteronomy.Synopsis complet
Une comédie musicale sur les chats?...... Sur des poèmes de TS Eliot? Aucun producteur de théatre Londonien ne veut prendre ce risque. Cette situation deviendra d'ailleurs un running gag de la série "Une Nounou D'enfer" avec Fran Drescher, puisque Mr. Sheffield est l'un des producteurs ayant refusé de produire Cats.
Andrew Lloyd Webber tombe alors sur le producteur providentiel, un producteur de génie Cameron Mackintosh, grand fan d'Andrew et qui accepte de produire "Cats".
"Cats" fera la fortune d'Andrew Lloyd Webber et de Cameron Mackintosh, puisqu'Andrew signe ici son premier succès monstrueux. Démarant le 11 Mai 1981 au New London Theatre, il y sera joué 8'949 fois avant de finir le 11 Mai 2002 retransmis à Londres sur écran géant. "Cats" démarrera à Broadway le 7 Octobre 1982 au Winter Garden Theatre où il y sera joué 7'495 fois avant de finir le 10 Septembre 2000. Des centaines de versions de "Cats" seront produits dans de nombreux pays et dans toutes les langues.
C'est pendant le casting de "Cats" qu'Andrew Lloyd Webber rencontre et tombe amoureux de la jeune chanteuse Sarah Brightman.
1 Cats peut-être considéré comme un Top musical
2 Cats peut-être considéré comme un mega-musical.
Génèse du musical
Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats is based on Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), which the composer recalled as having been a childhood favorite. The songs of the musical comprise Eliot's verse set to music by the composer, the principal exception being the most famous song from the musical, "Memory", for which the lyrics were written by Trevor Nunn after an Eliot poem entitled "Rhapsody on a Windy Night". Also, a brief song entitled "The Moments of Happiness" was taken from a passage in Eliot's Four Quartets. Andrew Lloyd Webber began composing the songs in late 1977 and premiered the compositions at the Sydmonton festival in 1980. The concert was attended by T.S. Elliot's wife, Valerie Elliot and she loved the songs that Webber had composed. She gave her blessing for the songs to be adapted into a musical stage play. Rehearsals for the musical began in early 1981 at the New London Theatre. Due to the Elliot estate asserting that they write no script and only use the original poems as the text, the musical had no identified plot during the rehearsal process, causing many actors to be confused about what they were actually doing. An unusual musical in terms of its construction, the overture incorporates a fugue and there are occasions when the music accompanies spoken verse. The show is completely told through music with virtually no spoken dialogue in between the songs. Dance is also a key element in the musical especially during the 10 minute Jellicle Ball dance sequence. The set, consisting of an oversized junk yard, remains the same throughout the show without any scene changes. Lloyd Webber's eclecticism is very strong here; musical genres range from classical to pop, music hall, jazz, rock and electro-acoustic music as well as hymnal songs such as "The Addressing of Cats".
Cats premiered in the West End at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981. There was trouble initially as Judi Dench, cast in the role of Grizabella, snapped a tendon during rehearsals prior to the London opening. The role of Grizabella was subsequently taken over by Elaine Paige. The role was beefed up for Paige and the song "Memory" (originally to be sung by Geraldine Gardner in the role of the red cat Bombalurina) was given to Paige. The musical was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, directed by Trevor Nunn, with associate director and choreographer Gillian Lynne, design by John Napier, and lighting by David Hersey. It played a total of 8,949 performances in London. Its final performance in London's West End was on its 21st birthday, 11 May 2002, and broadcast on a large screen in Covent Garden to the delight of fans who could not acquire a ticket for the final performance. It held the record as London's longest running musical until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by Les Misérables.
The show made its debut on Broadway on 8 October 1982, at the Winter Garden Theatre with the same production team. On 19 June 1997, Cats became the longest-running musical in Broadway history with 6,138 performances. It closed on 10 September 2000, after a total of 7,485 performances. Its Broadway record was surpassed on 9 January 2006 by The Phantom of the Opera. It remains Broadway's second longest-running show in history. Lloyd Webber stated that when the original show was produced, it cost £900,000, but on Broadway, it cost $5,000,000.
In 1998, Lloyd Webber produced a video version of Cats, based upon the stage version, starring Elaine Paige, who originated the role of Grizabella in London; Ken Page, who originated Old Deuteronomy on Broadway; Sir John Mills as Gus; Michael Gruber as Munkustrap; John Partridge as The Rum Tum Tugger; Jo Gibb as Rumpelteazer with many of the dancers and singers drawn largely from various stage productions of the show. It was directed by David Mallet, with choreography and musical staging by the show's respected original creator Gillian Lynne in London's Adelphi Theatre, and was released on VHS and DVD, as well as broadcast on television worldwide. Andrew Lloyd Webber and others on the production team for the film wanted to keep the feeling that viewers watching the film could still get the sense of seeing the show live, by having all views be facing the stage, therefore, getting multiple views of the set, but still feel like the viewer is part of a live audience, with several close-ups. Beyond the productions in Britain, the U.S., Canada, and Australia, the musical has been produced professionally in Hungary, Austria, and Japan, 1983; Sydney and Toronto, 1985; Germany, 1986; France, 1989; Mexico, 1991; Netherlands, 1992; Argentina, 1993; Hong Kong, 1994; Spain, 2003; Poland and Czech Republic, 2004; Russia and Estonia, 2005; Israel, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, China and Finland, 2007; Singapore, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, China, Italy, Bulgaria and Japan, 2009; and Brazil and the Philippines, 2010. Cats has been translated into over 20 languages.
A West End revival of Cats is being planned for 2013.
Liste des chansons
Overture – Orchestra
Prologue: Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats – The Company
The Naming Of Cats – The Company
The Invitation To The Jellicle Ball – Victoria, Quaxo, Munkustrap
The Old Gumbie Cat – Jennyanydots, Munkustrap, Bombalurina, Jellylorum, Demeter
The Rum Tum Tugger – Rum Tum Tugger, Company
Grizabella: The Glamour Cat – Grizabella, Demeter, Bombalurina
Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town – Bustopher, Jennyanydots, Jellylorum, Bombalurina
Mungojerrie And Rumpleteazer – Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer
Old Deuteronomy – Munkustrap, Rum Tum Tugger, Old Deuteronomy
The Awefull Battle of The Pekes and the Pollicles – Munkustrap,Company
The Song of the Jellicles – The Company
The Jellicle Ball – Orchestra
Grizabella, The Glamour Cat (Reprise) – Grizabella
Memory – Grizabella
The Moments Of Happiness/Memory – Old Deuteronomy, Jemima
Gus: The Theatre Cat – Asparagus, Jellylorum
*Growltiger's Last Stand, incorporating either 'The Ballad Of Billy M'Caw' or the Italian aria 'In Una Tepida Notte' – Growltiger, Griddelbone, Ghengis/Gilbert, the Siamese, the Crew
Gus: The Theater Cat (Reprise) – Asparagus
Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat – Skimbleshanks, the Company
Macavity: The Mystery Cat – Demeter, Bombalurina
Macavity Fight – Macavity, Munkustrap, Alonzo
Mr. Mistoffelees – Quaxo, otherwise known as Mr. Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger
Memory/Daylight – Jemima
Jellicle Choice – Munkustrap
Memory (Reprise) – Grizabella, Jemima
The Journey To The Heaviside Layer – The Company
Finale: The Ad-Dressing Of Cats – Old Deuteronomy
* Not featured in 1998 video
Liste des rôles
These descriptions, in alphabetical order, are based on more recent versions of the show, although there are minor variations from production to production.
* Asparagus / Gus – The theatre cat. One of the oldest tribe members. He was once an actor.
* Bombalurina – A saucy red female. A Principal vocalist and dancer.
* Bustopher Jones – A fat cat, a "twenty-five pounder." Dresses in a snappy tuxedo and spats. Respected by all, as the upper class "St. James's Street Cat". In most productions, the actor playing Gus also plays Bustopher, though in early productions the part was handled by the actor playing Old Deuteronomy.
* Demeter – A very skittish female cat, principal vocalist.
* Grizabella – The former Glamour Cat who has lost her sparkle and now only wants to be accepted. Grizabella left the tribe when she was younger to see the world for herself; she has experienced the harshness of the world and is a pariah in the cats' society.
* Griddlebone – A fluffy white Persian cat. Growltiger's lover in Growltiger's Last Stand, where she sings The Ballad of Billy M'Caw or the mock Italian aria In Una Tepida Notte (depending on production) with Growltiger. Almost always played by the actress playing Jellylorum. She does not appear in productions which omit Growltiger's Last Stand.
* Growltiger – A theatrical character Gus recalls playing in his youth, and who appears in Gus' memory of the production of Growltiger's Last Stand. In some productions he is portrayed as a vicious pirate; in others he is more of a parody of a pirate. Does not appear in productions which omit Growltiger's Last Stand.
* Jellylorum – A female who watches out for the kittens, along with Jennyanydots. She has a close relationship with Gus. Named after T. S. Eliot's own cat. The actress who plays Jellylorum usually also plays Griddlebone in Growltiger's Last Stand.
* Jemima – A kitten interchangeable with Sillabub, though Jemima is used in most international productions. She is the kitten who sings the Memory refrain in The Moments of Happiness for Old Deuteronomy. Jemima sings the happier parts of Memory, while Grizabella sings the more sad parts. Jemima is the youngest kitten in the tribe, and she wants to be a glamour cat just like Grizabella was, before Grizabella left the tribe to explore the outside world. She also is the first cat/kitten to accept Grizabella by singing with her and not judge her.
* Jennyanydots – The old Gumbie cat. She sits all day and rules the mice and cockroaches at night, forcing them to undertake helpful functions and creative projects, to curb their naturally destructive habits.
* Macavity – the show's only real villain. The character is a literary allusion to the Sherlock Holmes character Professor Moriarty. Usually played by the same actor as Plato or Admetus.
* Mr. Mistoffelees – A young black tom with magical powers, which he doesn't fully control. His signature dance move is "The Conjuring Turn", twenty-four fouettés en tournant. He's sort of a rascal. He's a bit of a child prodigy of the tribe. Brilliant at what he does but a little wacky at the same time. He's not really an adult yet, but he's not a kitten. So he's in an in-between stage. He doesn't quite know how to use his magical powers yet, but he's learning. He has a lot of adolescent qualities. In the UK production, Mistoffelees has an alter-ego named Quaxo, who appears as a general chorus cat throughout the show, and is dressed slightly differently. Occasionally Quaxo is a separate character.
* Mungojerrie – Half of a pair of notorious cat-burglars, with Rumpleteazer. Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer are most commonly remembered for their featured dance number where at the end, they do a "double windmill" across the stage.
* Munkustrap – The show's de facto narrator. A black and silver tom who is storyteller and protector of the Jellicle tribe. He is thought to be second in command after Old Deuteronomy.
* Old Deuteronomy – The lovable patriarch of the Jellicle Tribe. He is very old and dignified.
* Rumpleteazer – Female half of a pair of notorious cat-burglars, with Mungojerrie.
* The Rum Tum Tugger – The ladies' tom. His temperament ranges from clownish to serious, and often sexual depending on the production; however, he is always flirtatious, and usually portrayed as a feline equivalent of Mick Jagger or Elvis Presley, and recognisable by his wild mane.
* Skimbleshanks – The railway cat. An active orange tabby cat, who lives on the trains and acts as an unofficial chaperon to such an extent he is considered rather indispensable to the train and station employees.
* Victoria – A pure white kitten gifted in dancing. The "official" Jellicle Ball begins with her solo dance. She also does a Pas De Deux with Plato during the Jellicle Ball. She also is the second cat/kitten to accept Grizabella, but the first to touch her.
Textes disponibles on-line
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Pour en savoir plus
Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Cats.
Cats has undergone several revisions since its London and subsequent Broadway openings. The most current version, licensed by The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, is based on the recent UK Tour. This score contains several small cuts, transpositions, additions, reassignment of vocal lines, and a reduced orchestration.
The "Growltiger's Last Stand" sequence was revised for the Broadway production. In the original London show, the duet for Growltiger and Griddlebone was a setting of an unpublished T.S. Eliot poem, "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw". For Broadway, the Ballad was replaced with a pastiche of Italian aria (reminiscent of Puccini's Madama Butterfly). This new version was subsequently incorporated into most productions of Cats worldwide (A notable exception was the Hungarian production at the Madách Színház in Budapest which opened in 1983 and is still running in repertory as of early 2008 celebrating its 25th anniversary on 25 March 2008, as the longest running musical in Hungarian theatre history. Productions in Helsinki and Prague also used the original version.) The Ballad remained in the London production until some time in the early 1990s when it was replaced with the Italian aria pastiche. "Billy M'Caw" was re-instated for the UK Tours following the show's closure in London. Lloyd Webber has said that he is pleased with the reinstatement of "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw" as he didn't care for the "Italian aria" version. In the video version, the entire scene featuring Growltiger was cut due to John Mills' (Gus) old age. The licensed version of Cats includes both songs, giving individual companies a choice as to which to include.
The song "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer" has had several different versions in the past. In the original London production, Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer sang their song in 12/8 time to a jazzy accompaniment. Andrew Lloyd Webber later wrote a new melody for the Broadway production, for Mr. Mistoffelees (also called Quaxo) to sing about Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer in the third person. The point of the scene on Broadway was to entertain Bustopher Jones, with Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer as puppets being magically controlled by Mr. Mistoffelees/Quaxo. The tempo remained upbeat (now in 4/4 time, switching to 7/8 in the middle section) and the mood of the song was similar to the original version. Lloyd Webber's new version was used for all subsequent productions of Cats, although Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer now sing their number themselves (making the Broadway and London productions identical). In the 1998 film, one stanza was cut. In the current licensed version, based on the recent UK tour, the 7/8 section is replaced with a return to the original 12/8.
In recent productions, a lyric in "Growltiger's Last Stand" was changed in order to remove any racially insensitive language. "With a frightful burst of fireworks the Chinks they swarmed aboard!" became "with a frightful burst of fireworks, the Siamese they swarmed aboard!", although the lyric "Heathen Chinese" remains in the tale of the Pekes and the Pollicles.
The US tour continues to use the original Broadway version of the score, including the Italian aria and material cut from newer versions. Only "Pekes and Pollicles" and one verse each of "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" and "Old Deuteronomy" are cut from performance.
Versions majeures de Cats
longest running UK musical up to that time, overtaking “Chorus Line”, when it achieved its 6,138th performance. On June 19th 1997 it became the longest running show to date in New York.
It played a total of 8,949 performances in London. Its final performance was on its 21 st birthday, 11 May 2002, and broadcast on a large screen in Covent Garden to the delight of fans who could not acquire a ticket for the final performance. It held the record as London's longest running musical until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by “Les Miserables”.En savoir plus sur cette version
Alonzo … Héctor Jaime Mercado
Bustopher Jones … Stephen Hanan
Bombalurina … Donna King
Carbucketty … Steven Gelfer
Cassandra … René Ceballos
Coricopat … René Clemente
Demeter … Wendy Edmead
Etcetera … Christine Langner
Genghis … Steven Gelfer
Grizabella … Betty Buckley
Griddlebone … Bonnie Simmons
Growltiger … Stephen Hanan
Jellylorum … Bonnie Simmons
Jennyanydots … Anna McNeely
Macavity … Kenneth Ard
Mr. Mistoffelees … Timothy Scott
Mungojerrie … René Clemente
Munkustrap … Harry Groener
Old Deuteronomy … Ken Page
Plato … Kenneth Ard
Pouncival … Herman W. Sebek
Rum Tum Tugger … Terrence V. Mann
Rumpleteazer … Christine Langner
Rumpus Cat … Kenneth Ard
Sillabub … Whitney Kershaw
Skimbleshanks … Reed Jones
Tantomile … Janet L. Hubert
Tumblebrutus … Robert Hoshour
Victoria … Cynthia OnrubiaEn savoir plus sur cette version
Le show était basé sur la production d'Amsterdam, elle-même basée sur celle de Vienne. Ceci se remarque au niveau des costumes et maquillages.
Pouncival avait le rôle de Quaxo qui participait à une sorte de compétition de claquettes avec Jennyanydots durant sa chanson à Vienne.
Il y avait deux Genghis dans Growltiger's Last Stand : celui que l'on connait des autres productions, et un "Vieux Genghis". Il semblerait que le Vieux Genghis était un personnage à part entière apparaissant tout le long du spectacle.
Plusieurs noms de personnages ont été modifiés, comme on peut le constater en consultant les castings (Skimbleshanks = Edgar, Jennyanydots = Amélie RonRon...). Le terme "Jellicle" (contraction inventé par T.S. Eliot de "dear little cat", soit "cher petit chat"), fut transformé en Jalupate.
En savoir plus sur cette version
Alonzo … Jason Gardiner
Asparagus … Tony Timberlake
Tumblebrutus … Fergus Logan
Bombalurina … Rosemarie Ford
Bustopher Jones … James Barron
Pouncival … Karl Morgan
Cassandra … Rebecca Parker
Coricopat … Tommy Sliiden
Demeter … Aeva May
Electra … Leah Sue Morland
Etcetera … Jo Bingham
Exotica … Femi Taylor
Rumpus Cat/Admetus … Ron Berger
Grizabella … Elaine Paige
Gus the Theatre Cat … John Mills
Jennyanydots … Suzie McKenna
Jellylorum … Susan Jane Tanner
Jemima … Veerle Casteleyn
Mungojerrie … Drew Varley
Munkustrap … Michael Gruber
Quaxo/Mistoffelees … Jacob Brent
Old Deuteronomy … Ken Page
Rum Tum Tugger … John Partridge
Rumpleteazer … Jo Gibb
Skimbleshanks … Geoffrey Garratt
Tantomile … Kaye Brown
Victoria … Phyllida Crowley SmithEn savoir plus sur cette version
Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Cats
Pas encore de video disponible pour ce spectacle