Cats, “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats”/“Memory” (1983)

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s feline revue became such an institution that it is easy to forget just how weird it was when it opened: a more or less plotless musical adaptation of light verse by T.S. Eliot, performed on an oversize trash heap by a chorus dressed in yak fur and Kiss-y makeup. For the Tony Awards, the production offered a medley of its opening number—which aptly captures the piece's variety-show feel, as well as Gillian Lynne’s slinky choreography—and its breakout song, “Memory,” performed with wounded, searing delusional intensity by Betty Buckley at the peak of her formidable powers.

Cats, “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats”/“Memory” (1983) is found in...

The Best Tony Awards Performances
( 10 videos )
Item Position (rank): 10