Cats to be reimagined as a queer ballroom drama extravaganza: ‘Absolutely screaming’


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Cats will be transported to the New York ballroom scene by a new performing arts centre.

The trainwreck that was the Cats movie – a film so terrible, Webber bought a therapy dog – doesn’t appear to have halted the musical theatre juggernaut.

A New York-based performing arts centre opening on the World Trade Centre site is workshopping a new version of the show with the hopes of growing into a full production.

Describing its vision in a casting call, the Ronald O Perelman Performing Arts Centre said: “This production reimagines the musical Cats within the context of the ballroom scene.”
Performers will not be playing literal cats – instead, they’ll be playing members of the scene.

The creators envision Old Deuteronomy as a drag queen and Grizabella as a trans woman and singer. Munkustrap will be a charismatic MC and Asparagus a devoted theatre queen who lived through the AIDS crisis.

The company added: “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 colour) are represented across this cast.”

The production team includes director Bill Raunch, choreography consultant Omari Wiles and gender consultant Josephine Kearn.

Theatre fans have been drawn in by the intriguing premise.

“Absolutely screaming that the new Perelman performing arts centre at the World Trade Centre is kicking things off with a workshop of CATS SET AT A BALL,” one person wrote.

Another added: “I regret to inform you that they’ve somehow found a way to get me excited about a Cats revival.”

“This plus the Barbie movie is going to make 2023 the most incredibly insane year of all time,” one person aptly noted.

Cats last enjoyed a brief Broadway run from 2016 to 2017.

In 2019, it became a sensation once more – for all the wrong reasons – with the bizarre and baffling movie Cats, starring Judi Dench and James Corden.