“[Cats] is one of the most — if not the most — physically demanding musicals out there,” actor Dan Hoys told Metro Weekly in 2019, when he portrayed Munkustrap in the groundbreaking Andrew Lloyd Webber musical in a national touring production that included a stop at the Kennedy Center.
“I like to think of Cats as one of musical theater’s first devised pieces. Webber took pre-existing material and wrote music based on that. And then the show creates choreography based around feline movement.” And all that movement is genuinely moving, Hoy added. “The amount of people sobbing during ‘Memory,’ watching as Grizabella, this once betrayed feline, is redeemed is — I mean, it’s astonishing.”
That 2019 touring production picked back up after the pandemic in 2021 and is now returning to D.C. for a week-long run this month at the National Theatre. Trevor Nunn, the musical’s original director, once again helms the production, featuring freshened-up choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton), based on Gillian Lynne’s original work.
The Broadway original’s scenic and costume designer John Napier has gently updated the iconic looks of Grizabella, Mister Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, and friends — played in the current production by Tayler Harris, Ibn Snell, and Hank Santos, respectively, while Kade Wright portrays Munkustrap.
Opens Tuesday, Jan. 17. To Jan. 22. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Tickets are $55 to $125. Visit www.broadwayatthenational.com or call 202-628-6161.
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