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In 1997, The New York Times credited the regional and touring productions of Cats with “virtually single-handedly reviv the sagging street business”. Cats revolutionised the touring business by introducing the now commonplace practice of extended touring engagements that can final a number of weeks or months in a single metropolis, as opposed to the typical one-week or ten-day tour stop. The musical’s fantasy setting and disrespect for verisimilitude allowed for groundbreaking experimentations in lighting and audio technology.
This practice reworked sound design and has since turn out to be the norm in stay theatre. Cats introduced a advertising strategy that set the template for subsequent megamusicals. Early commercials for the musical did not characteristic traditional pull quotes or any of the cast, instead branding the present itself as the star. It did this by adopting — after which aggressively promoting — a single recognisable image (the cat’s-eyes emblem) because the face of the show. The cat’s-eyes brand was the primary globally marketed emblem in musical theatre history, and was paired with a tagline (“now and endlessly”) to create what The Daily Telegraph referred to as “one of musical theatre’s greatest posters”.
The authentic London and Broadway productions featured David Hersey’s pioneering use of automated lighting to provide kaleidoscopic landscapes and sophisticated optical effects. Hersey additionally used mild in an “architectural manner”, with quick-changing configurations to spotlight different performers in speedy succession. This dynamic shifting of the viewers’s perspective created an effect much like that of fast chopping in film modifying. The unique London production of Cats was also the primary recognized instance during which an entire forged was individually outfitted with radio microphones.
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Cats established musical theatre as a world commodity, marking the start of a brand new period within the business that’s characterised by large world stakes for potentially even huger world income. It led the shift in the Broadway market towards massive-finances blockbusters and exhibits that attraction to families and vacationers, which in turn left smaller productions struggling to compete. Cats also ushered in a “golden age of British musicals” which noticed West End exports dominate the industry for almost 20 years. Musical theatre historian Vagelis Siropoulos asserted that by way of impact, the “seminal Broadway opening” of Cats was “comparable only to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! thirty nine years ago.” Cats has been produced by varied skilled regional theatre firms. Broadway Sacramento staged the musical in 2003 and 2009 on the Wells Fargo Pavilion. Both productions featured Ken Page reprising his function as Old Deuteronomy from the original Broadway production, together with Jacquelyn Piro Donovan as Grizabella and Jeffry Denman as Munkustrap.
Such branding emblems proved equally effective for later megamusicals, as seen with the waif Cosette for Les Misérables and the Phantom’s masks for The Phantom of the Opera. This promoting technique had the extra effect of diminishing the significance of important evaluations, popularising the so-called “critic-proof” standing of megamusicals. Despite blended critiques when Cats opened in New York in 1982, critics agreed that it was revolutionary and visually spectacular in ways that Broadway had never seen earlier than. The musical turned a cultural phenomenon and has had a profound influence on the medium.