Out with an X Factor judge, in with an X Factor winner.
British singer Leona Lewis has joined the cast of the forthcoming Broadway production of Cats — the first revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical since its original run closed in 2000 — as Grizabella, arguably the most glamorous cat of any cat whose name literally includes the words “the Glamour Cat.” The role is famously known for its showstopping ballad, “Memory.”
In a press statement, Lewis said: “It is an incredible honor to be asked by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to join the Cats family. I will never forget seeing the show as a little girl and how blown away I was by the magical experience of it. I am beyond thrilled for my Broadway debut to be in such an iconic show. To work with a team as legendary as those on Cats is an experience I will cherish every moment of. I cannot wait to see the audiences out in NYC!”
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Original director Trevor Nunn will once more helm the show, which will open on July 31 at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre. The creative team includes John Napier, Natasha Katz, Mick Potter, and Andy Blankenbuehler.
An iteration of this production of Cats was presented on London’s West End in 2014, starring Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella. In an interview with The Economist Radio, Webber revealed that the Pussycat Dolls singer was scheduled to lead the Broadway production but pulled out instead to appear on The X Factor in the Heaviside Layer.
Lewis, perhaps best known to American ears as the singer of “Bleeding Love, will lead a cast that includes — get ready — Giuseppe Bausilio (Carbucketty), Quentin Earl Darrington (Old Deuteronomy), Jeremy Davis (Skimbleshanks), Kim Faure (Demeter), Sara Jean Ford (Jellylorum), Lili Froehlich (Electra), Daniel Gaymon (Macavity), Shonica Gooden (Rumpleteazer), Christopher Gurr (Gus/Bustopher Jones), Tyler Hanes (Rum Tum Tugger), Andy Huntington Jones (Munkustrap), Kolton Krouse (Tumblebrutus), Eloise Kropp (Jennyanydots / Gumbie), Jess LeProtto (Mungojerrie), Georgina Pazcoguin (Victoria), Emily Pynenburg (Cassandra), Arianna Rosario (Sillabub), Ahmad Simmons (Alonzo), Christine Cornish Smith “Bombalurina), Corey Snide (Coricopat), Emily Tate (Tantomile), Ricky Ubeda (Mistoffelees), and Sharrod Williams (Pouncival).