“Cats,” which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011, is the second-longest-running show in Broadway history. Based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot, the musical was first performed in Korea in 1994, and was a hit in 2003, 2007 and 2008. The four presentations altogether drew some 1.2 million viewers in the country.
|A scene from “Cats.” (Seol & Company)|
The plot of the musical revolves around Grizabella, a very old cat who used to be proud of herself, carefree and flamboyant. When she was young and beautiful, the cat left her home tribe to explore the outside world, knowing well that she would never be allowed back. She tries to reconcile with the ones she left, asking them to accept her once again. The musical is also best known for “Memory,” one of its most famous numbers.
In Korea, prominent actresses have played Grizabella for the past performances, including veteran singer Insooni, actress Park Hae-mi, Shin Young-sook and Ock Ju-hyun.
For the upcoming musical, actors and actresses from different countries, including Australia, the U.K. and South Africa, have been selected through auditions. Director Jo-Anne Robinson, who has been involved with “Cats” since its inception, will direct the upcoming production in Seoul and Ansan.
The musical’s “preview” in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, will be staged from May 30 to June 1 at the Ansan Art Center. The show’s Seoul run kicks off on June 13 and will wrap up on Aug. 24. Ticket sales for the upcoming Ansan show opens on March 12, while sales for the Seoul run will begin on April 10. Prices range from 50,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363 or visit www.musicalcats.co.kr.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)