The legendary musical "Cats" is getting ready to pounce on Beijing again. Beginning this Saturday, "Cats" will be performed for eight nights at the Beijing Exhibition Center Theatre. "Cats" just finished playing for a week in Shanghai, so the cast is now busily preening themselves to look their 'jellical' best for the Beijing crowd.
Resident Director Stephen Morgante and leading performers of the musical were on hand to meet the "Cats" fans in Beijing on Tuesday night.
A strong lineup of top-level performers from Australia and the UK are part of the current Cats touring cast, including one of Australia's finest musical theatre performers Delia Hannah. It is the first time for Hannah to join the tour to China.
She will play the role of Grizabella and sing the musical's most moving show-stopper "Memory", which has become a Broadway standard. Hannah revealed to the crowd that she has another role she enjoys even more than Grizabella.
The appearance of two costumed "cats" from the show thrilled those present at the press conference. According to the performers, they are required to have cats as pets so they can observe their uniquely feline behaviors and gestures to get inspiration for their performance.
Cats kicked off its 2009 world tour in May in Hong Kong. After this week in Beijing, the tour will continue in Tianjin, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Chongqing.
Performances on the Chinese mainland will end the tour, after which the team enters a period of rest and relaxation.
So audiences will not be able to watch "Cats" in China for at least five years after this tour.
The lowest ticket price is said to be an affordable 80 yuan, just a bit more than 10 US dollars. The lower price aims to draw more musical lovers and cat lovers to the theater.