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'Cats' to be revived in London, and maybe made into movie too

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Nine lives: 'Cats' to be revived in London, and maybe a movie version too
Andrew Lloyd Webber says 'Cats' could become a movie

In John Guare's "Six Degrees of Separation," an urbane New York society lady is called out for having once dismissed the musical "Cats" as being an "all-time low in a lifetime of theatergoing." Her distaste for the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber production doesn't prevent her or her equally snobbish husband from jumping on board a planned movie version of the felines-in-leg-warmers musical.

As improbable as a big-screen version of "Cats" seemed in Guare's play, it could become a reality if Lloyd Webber gets his wish. The British composer said this week at an event for the upcoming West End revival of "Cats" that a movie adaptation is being discussed.

"There is considerable talk at last about 'Cats' being made into a movie so it gives me a chance to think about the material and how that can happen," Lloyd Webber said, according to a report from Reuters.

"Cats" will be revived on London's West End for a 12-week run starting in December at the Palladium. The musical opened on Broadway in 1982 and ran for 18 years at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Lloyd Webber and the show's original director, Trevor Nunn, have revised and updated certain aspects of the show, including turning the character of Rum Tum Tugger into a rapper. 

Lloyd Webber has seen a few of his musicals turned into movies -- "Evita," "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Jesus Christ Superstar." However, his big-screen plans for "Sunset Blvd." have yet to materialize. 

"Cats" won several Tony Awards in 1983, including the prize for new musical and Lloyd Webber's original score. The song "Memory" became a popular hit tune, frequently performed in concerts.

Often mocked today by intellectuals and reflexively dismissed as a piece of '80s kitsch, "Cats" looks positively avant-garde by current Broadway standards. The show is based on a book of poems by T.S. Eliot and features no plot, celebrities or movie tie-ins. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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