The New “Cats” Production Will Feature –You Guessed It — a Rapping Cat


It appears that Andrew Lloyd Webber, taking a stately, expansive view of his work in theater, realized he got one or two things wrong. Not huge things, mind you. Little things. And part of being a living treasure and a Lord, an actual Lord, is that when you want to update your seminal ’80s work in the location it opened more than 30 years ago, you can do whatever the heck you want.

So Andrew Lloyd Webber plans to put a rapping cat in Cats.

A rapping cat in Cats?

A rapping cat in Cats.

A rapping cat in Cats?

A rapping cat in Cats.

The Broadway musical Cats?

The very same.


“He has to do hip-hop,” Andrew Lloyd Webber told the Telegraph, speaking of the Rum Tum Tugger, the cat who he is going to have rap in Cats. “That will be a completely new way of doing it.”

We’re tempted to make fun of this idea, but screw it. We believe in Webber. It’s a great idea. I once saw a dog rapping about used cars in a commercial, and it totally worked. It’s like when the weather forecaster suddenly decides to rap his newscast and adds a little “Hammer dance” at the end. Hysterical stuff. Or that time your dad rapped his toast at your wedding. Priceless. A rapping cat.

Good job. Great idea.

To gain support for his rapping cat and to allay any fears that this new path is filled with humiliating dangers, Lord Lloyd explained himself thusly: Why not a rapping cat? After all, T.S. Eliot invented rap.

"I’ve come to the conclusion, having read [Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats] again, that maybe Eliot was the inventor of rap," he told the Telegraph. "His metre for the Rum Tum Tugger is so wonderful … it raps."

You see? We’re in good hands.

The show, set to run at London’s West End later this year, features other modern updates as well — the song “Growltiger’s Last Stand” is being reimagined with new music, and discarded cell phones will be in the rubbish pile the cats call home.

“Since we first did it, many parents have become grandparents and the kids have grown up to become parents,” said director Sir Trevor Nunn. “There is a whole generation of kids who haven’t seen it or discovered it. And there are certainly elements of the show that can be reinvigorated in very contemporary terms.”

Via the Telegraph; photos via Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Facebook page.

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