Now and Forever (Again!) 'Cats' to Return, Ballroom-Styled

Saturday August 6, 2022
Originally published on August 3, 2022

"Cats"
"Cats"  (Source:EDGE composite image)

The much-beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats" may have been threatened with cultural cancellation after its disastrous film version was released two years ago. But perhaps its famous tagline — "Now and Forever" may be revived with the promise of a new version of the show, this time with a production set in the ballroom environment.

A casting call from the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center posted on July 28 seeks "Equity actors for principal roles in CATS," according to Broadway World.

"This production reimagines the musical CATS within the context of THE BALLROOM SCENE. Performers do not play literal cats; they play people living in New York City. This is a workshop that may lead to a potential production," the casting call says.

"Our intention is to meet several artists through this casting process who we can collaborate with as we potentially cast multiple developments in its journey. That said, it is our intention to build relationships with performers we cast and do not cast; we are eager to meet you through this process either way."

The casting call also added: "This is a workshop of the musical CATS reimagined within the context of the Ballroom Scene. The reimagination will take place at a Ball: a competition that, through multiple categories, invites an unapologetic celebration of the self. Please note that all characters in this production are human, not literal 'cats'. All ages are suggestions to capture the character's essence and their relationship to the scene. Gender identities mentioned in the character descriptions are to describe the characters; many roles may have flexibility with gender including throughout the show. Ballroom was created as something that is for everyone. Although not every character is listed as such, it is important to this creative team that people of the global majority (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) are represented across this cast."

Twitter responded with both enthusiasm and some scorn: