The Tony-winning star of MISS SAIGON, Lea Salonga, will play the role of the Glamour Cat Grizabella in the international touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical CATS NOW AND FOREVER running on a limited engagement at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from July 24 to August 15, 2010.
Ms. Salonga recently flew to Sydney to rehearse with the Australian touring cast and production team. The sets, costumes, props, and the people behind the touring production are expected to arrive in Manila by mid-July 2010.
The show, based on the OLD POSSUM’S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS by T.S. Eliot, has music by musical theatre legend Andrew Lloyd Webber (“The Phantom of the Opera”, “Sunset Boulevard”). Its musical numbers include the hit song “Memory”.
The show holds the record as Broadway’s second longest-running musical. Its New York run was truly phenomenal – the production at the Winter Garden Theatre ran for 18 years.
CATS first opened in London’s West End in 1981 with Elaine Paige (Grizabella), and then on Broadway after a year with Betty Buckley (Grizabella), directed by Trevor Nunn (“Les Miserables”, “Starlight Express”), and choreographed by Gilliane Lynne (“The Phantom of the Opera”, “Aspects of Love”). The musical won numerous awards including both the Laurence Olivier Award and Tony Award for Best Musical.
Grizabella, a former Glamour Cat, has lost her clout and sparkle, and now only seeks to be accepted by the “Jellicle Cats” society, whose members are anxiously waiting to be reborn into a new life.
“I’ll be playing Grizabella…As for what attracts me to her, besides the big song? Grizabella is the cat that shone in the spotlight once upon a time, and doesn’t anymore. She’s scraggy, dirty, ugly, and relives the Glory Days in her mind. It’ll be interesting to play someone that once shone, and no longer does,” said Ms. Salonga.
You may also read a special feature about Lea in my previous post here.