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My Favorite Song: Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber

Category Broadway

|by Jeryl Brunner |

With the opening of 'Cats' on Broadway, legendary composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber now has three shows running simultaneously on Broadway: 'The Phantom of the Opera,' 'School of Rock' and 'Cats'

I’ve always loved cats ever since I could remember. My mother read T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats poems to me when I was very small. My first cat was a Siamese cat called Perseus. I don’t know why he was called Perseus because it’s not a very Siamese name. It’s a Greek name, really. But he was a lovely seal point cat. A very, very intelligent cat. Now I have four marvelous Turkish Van cats, who are the swimming cats. They come from a place called Lake Van in Eastern Turkey

'Cats' creator Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber during opening night (Photo: Melanie Spiegel)

'Cats' creator Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber during opening night (Photo: Melanie Spiegel)

In one sense, the heart of this beast is actually T.S. Eliot’s view of Cats. It’s the extraordinary way that he wrote these poems for his godchildren. But, of course, he had an eye on the parents who were going to read for the godchildren. So, they’re brilliantly observed and very witty, and yet, he understands the cat.

The idea of doing a musical with human beings as cats was considered to be absolutely crazy. I think everybody thought that we were mad. There’s a well-known story that we opened with most of the investment missing, the second mortgage on my house. Nobody thought this show could work at all. But, of course, by the time it got to New York it had been a very big hit in London and it was sort of quite different. It was sold out for months when it got here. But in London, we were considered to be off our heads. And here we are all these years later.

I’m always asked about my favorite song. They’re all a bit like children. I’ve always had a great affection for “Skimbleshanks.” I don’t know why, really. I just always think he’s a rather lovely, lovely little cat — and rather fussy.

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