TODAY IN THEATRE HISTORY: In 1982, the Winter Garden Theatre hosts the opening of what will become one of the most successful musicals in the history of Broadway, Cats. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rendition of the T.S. Eliot collection of poems, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” boasts advance sales of $6.2 million before it even opens. The show has sound and special effects galore, no dialogue, and a diva in the making, Betty Buckley, singing its most memorable tune, “Memory.” Cats will win seven Tony awards and play in more than 250 cities around the world. By the time it closes on Sept. 10, 2000, Cats will have played 7485 performances, far outpacing previous long-run champ, A Chorus Line.
For more on Cats, including a look inside an original Playbill from the show, visit PlaybillVault.com.