'Cats' stats: more than nine lives

June 28, 1998|By J. Wynn Rousuck

A "Cats" road show is about to land on its feet here yet again. The Andrew Lloyd Webber-T.S. Eliot musical opens at the Lyric Opera House tomorrow - the seventh Baltimore engagement in 11 years. In its honor, here are some purr-tinent "Cats" stats:

The New York production made headlines a year ago when it became the longest-running show in Broadway history. However, the national touring company - the fourth American "Cats" tour - is a record-setter, too. In November, it became the longest running tour in history, surpassing the 10-year record set by "Oklahoma!" in 1954.

There have been 4,603 tour performances, seen by 9,763,492 theatergoers, for a total box-office gross of $349,832,810. (Worldwide, "Cats" has grossed more than $2.2 billion and has been seen by more than 50 million people.)

The national tour travels in five black trucks with the trademark cat's eyes on the back doors. The trucks have logged more than 2.2 million miles transporting the costumes and oversized junk heap that serves as the "Cats" set.

Almost 1.15 million pounds of dry ice have been pumped onto the set on tour. And 2,071 pounds of yak hair have gone into the wigs for the tour.

A sound engineer for the tour began using condoms to cover the battery packs of the body microphones so that perspiration wouldn't cause shorts. Since then, 92,060 condoms have been used on tour. This practice - which has been dubbed "safe sound" - has become fairly standard for Broadway shows.

So far, 245 actors have appeared in the touring show.

(Native Baltimorean Andy Karl - pictured below - is the company's 12th Rum Tum Tugger.)

Baltimore is not the city with the worst case of feline fever. In January, "Cats" played its 13th engagement in Atlanta.

Pub Date: 6/28/98

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