On July 14th I had a chance to attend a Cats the Musical press event and chat with some of the cats. Check it out:
Who do you play in the show?
K: I play Tumblebrutus.
What does he do? I’m sorry; I didn’t see the original.
K: He is the tumbling cat.
That’s fun. But do you also get sing and dance?
K: Yes. I sing and I dance still, yes.
Is this your first Broadway show? Because I read that there are a lot of people making their Broadway debut in this show.
K: It’s my Broadway debut.
What are you looking forward to most about being part of a Broadway show?
K: I am just really looking forward to the audiences and just being out there with everyone in the cast and performing and stuff.
How long have you been auditioning until you got cast?
K: This was actually like my third audition. I auditioned for Newsies when I was 16. I guess it’s like my second, actually.
So how does it feel to finally make it to Broadway? Has the cast been welcoming?
K: Yes, the cast is amazing. Everyone is so incredible and it feels really good to finally be here.
When did you start to realize that you wanted to be on Broadway and what was your first exposure to it?
K: My first exposure was actually when I watched the movie version of Cats, and so that’s when I was like oh my gosh, I want to dance. This is what I want to do and so yes.
When did you see your first Broadway show?
K: I saw my first Broadway show when I was 11, I believe. It was Wicked.
That’s exciting. What’s your favorite scene that you get to perform in?
K: My favorite scene is the Jellicle Ball when we just kicked Grizabella out and we all like come together as a tribe and are like oh, we just did that!
What’s your favorite part to watch that you are not in?
K: My favorite part to watch is Macavity. I love that song. I really wish I was in it, but it’s a girls number. It’s for the girls’ cats.
But it’s still cool.
K: It’s still really good.
I am so looking forward to seeing the show. It’s funny because when I was younger I saw the commercials but I never saw the show, so I am so happy it’s finally back so that I can see it again.
K: Me too.
You said you saw the original Cats on video. So the changes, do you like them? Are they noticeable?
K: Yes, I do. I don’t know — I think it’s definitely noticeable but it’s like the perfect blend of the original choreography with the new choreography.
Okay. That’s exciting. I can’t wait to see it. It was really nice meeting you.
K: Nice to meet you too.
Who do you play in the show?
S.J: I play Jellylorum.
That’s cool. So what are you most excited to bring to the show with the character and for people to see?
S.J: What am I most excited about?
For people to see about your character and, like, everything.
S.J: Well, my character, I am excited for people to see these characters in a new light in a new era. You know, audiences are different now.
Did you see the original Cats?
S.J: I actually didn’t. I was not really a super‑duper Cats fan. I wasn’t like a hard‑core Cats lover. My mom used to joke, you should buy the soundtrack to Cats, and I was like, yeah, yeah, whatever mom, and now I have completely drunk the Cats Kool‑Aid. I am in it. I love it. I am obsessed. I love this cast.
Yes, I hear that. I mean, I didn’t see it when I was younger either. I used to see the commercials all the time, Cats, longest-running Broadway show — but I am excited now that I am old enough and know more about Broadway that I get to see all these shows.
S.J: Absolutely. Absolutely.
So your character — I don’t know the show that well, so —
S.J: Jellylorum is so wonderful and I fell in love — it was really when I got my song for the audition that I fell in love with her. She sings about Gus the theater cat who is a very, very old cat who was once a great actor on the stage, and she is sort is his caretaker, and she is just super giving and kind and really quirky. She is a lot like me, if I do say so myself. So yes, come and see — come and see me as Jellylorum playing me.
Do you have a favorite part already that you get to be —
S.J: You know, the top of the second act is just like this really beautiful, cohesive, spiritual moment with everyone. I can’t tell you exactly what happens because you have to see it, but it’s just moving. Just truly moving.
Do you have a favorite scene to watch that you are not in?
S.J: You know what? I am in everything. I never leave the stage besides once, so I am able to watch Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer’s number, which is just super fun and acrobatic and just so physical, and I can’t even imagine doing what they are doing. So that’s the one I am able to watch. And I love watching Mr. Mistoffelees. Get ready for Mr. Mistoffelees.
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Cats officially opens on Broadway July 31st — go see it!