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  Cats at Neil Simon Theatre


Neil Simon Theatre
250 W. 52nd Street New York

The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as 'The Jellicle choice' and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

Open Run

Mondays: 8:00pm
Tuesdays: 8:00pm
Wednesdays: 8:00pm
Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 8:00pm

Box Office: 212-757-8646

Neil Simon Theatre Seating Chart

  Cats Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

The New York Times - Recommended

“The overriding spirit of the revival appears to be the familiar motto: Don’t mess with success...The most significant nod to the intervening decades and changing tastes is the hiring of Andy Blankenbuehler...The felines prance and romp and occasionally hiss at one another as they introduce themselves in songs that provide the show’s greatest allure, as well as its variety. Mr. Lloyd Webber is a musical magpie...The cast for the revival is largely excellent."
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Charles Isherwood

NY Daily News - Not Recommended

“Watching the lively yet enervating revival staged by Trevor Nunn, who directed the original 34 years ago, you can’t help but wonder how its first run lasted 18 years. Plotless, repetitive, nonsensical, the ’80s relic quickly turns tiresome enough to make you wish for a catnap. So much energy spent, so little impact...The show’s first tagline was 'now and forever.' More fitting for 'Cats' 2.0 — now and whatever.”
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Joe Dziemianowicz

Associated Press - Not Recommended

“The theatrical evolutions since 1982 make ‘Cats’ seem quaint and unsubstantial. It’s really not a cohesive show, more a revue with a collection of bombastic rock songs connected by mangy fur…For ‘Cats’ fans, none of this will register. But for those of us who find the show as ineffable and inscrutable as cats themselves, it’s a tedious, clawing mess.”
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Mark Kennedy

Hollywood Reporter - Recommended

"Only hardcore fans will be able to spot the differences in this new version...The biggest change is the new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler...More athletic and stylistically diverse than before, the dancing here is particularly spectacular...Lewis reveals her lack of acting experience with her less than galvanizing Grizabella, but her powerful singing is not to be faulted...Enough time has passed for a new generation of theatergoers to embrace the show."
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Frank Scheck

NY1 - Somewhat Recommended

"The revival is quite a mixed bag….Ricky Ubeda’s dazzling Mistoffelees is indeed magical...My biggest criticism is the key role of Grizabella...Leona Lewis conveys none of Grizabella’s sense of loss and pathos. And without that, she’s just a pop star in a cat suit...That said, it’s hard to knock a show that offers such a visceral thrill. The combination of Lloyd Webber’s catchy tunes and the sight of those gorgeously fit bodies in constant motion alone give a theatre lover reason to pause."
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Roma Torre

Variety - Recommended

“Memories could be fatal to this revival—specifically, the memory of Betty Buckley as Grizabella, singing ‘Memory'...Leona Lewis isn’t in her league. Happily, nothing as catty can be said of the rest of this fabulous revival of the 1981 musical phenom...A corps of brilliant dancers leap with feline agility through every style of dance, from toe-tapping Broadway jazz steps to the classic ballet moves...The genius of the show is in the dancing...The dancers are in perfectly splendid form."
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Marilyn Stasio

New York Post - Recommended

“'Cats' isn’t trying to be anything it’s not. It’s a what-the-hell idea for a far-out little show that inexplicably became bigger than big...Freed from storytelling duties except for a vague through line about aging and dying, the actors become cheery bundles of pure theater mojo, slinking all over the stage and spilling out into the aisles. How can you not love these crazy kids when they’re putting so much gosh darn effort into it?...'Cats' is never pretentious — it’s unabashed Broadway glitz."
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Kyle Smith

Entertainment Weekly - Somewhat Recommended

"'Cats' and its litter of quirkily named felines hold an undeniably beloved place in many theatergoers’ hearts. Perhaps that’s why director Trevor Nunn, who helmed the first 'Cats' on Broadway and the West End, has taken the unsurprising — and uninspiring — if-it-ain’t-broke approach...If you know 'Cats,' this is essentially the 'Cats' you know and either love or hate. If you don’t know 'Cats,' prepare for a trip back to the ’80s. "
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Melissa Rose Bernardo

Newsday - Somewhat Recommended

“Remains an overblown kiddie show...Director Trevor Nunn has put together a first-rate cast of singers and dancers, who prowl the aisles and crawl onstage through sewer tunnels with tireless enthusiasm. The exception, don’t hate me, is British pop singer Leona Lewis, oddly shrill and steely as Grizabella...Best of all is the refreshed choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler who has replaced Gillian Lynne’s compilation of stock moves with variety and invention.”
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Linda Winer

amNY - Somewhat Recommended

"The original production provided a more transporting experience because it played on a wider stage, which increased the intimacy...The size of the orchestra has been cut in half. If the producers could not recreate the opulence of the original production, perhaps they should have started from scratch and completely reimagined 'Cats.' After all, they can’t compete with its 'memory.'…The essential delights of 'Cats' are still there, including its electrifying dance sequences and flashy visual effects.'"
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Matt Windman

Wall Street Journal - Not Recommended

"I needed another trip to 'Cats' like your neighbor’s Burmese needs a nasty, knotty hairball wedged in her little kitty throat...The show showcases top-drawer dancing…Yes, some of the music will stick with you until the end of time...And the dancing still delights. But that’s not enough. Without a compelling story, without any emotional or intellectual resonance, the show leaves the soul unnourished and discontented."
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Michael Howard Saul

NorthJersey - Recommended

"It’s kitschy and fun, sometimes quite touching, and marvelously well done. It’ll likely be very nostalgic for anyone who saw the show before, and, I’m guessing, a treat for people who haven’t, and don’t go expecting a profound theatrical experience. 'Cats' is a one-of-a-kind entertainment, and I can’t imagine a young, budding theater-lover, in particular, not being entranced."
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Robert Feldberg

Washington Post - Recommended

“Remains precisely what it always was, a tuneful ball of coiled dancers’ energy and the useful vehicle for a discovery of the wonder of musical theater, most especially when a wide-eyed seven-year-old is in tow...The cast assembled for the revival is gangbusters. Andy Blankenbuehler has been recruited to tweak the dances of Gillian Lynne. His refinements inject precision and verve and allow several of the performers, in their equitably distributed spotlight moments, to show off grandly.”
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Peter Marks

Time Out New York - Recommended

“This was a lost opportunity. Rather than lamely re-creating the original, why not orchestrate the score for acoustic instruments, redo the costumes and dances, and find fresh drama underneath the tacky, dated pageantry? Instead we get a taxidermied pet. If there is heart to the piece, it’s Grizabella, the faded, outcast 'glamour cat.' British crooner Leona Lewis has a big, yearning voice, but even her (heavily amplified) yowling of 'Memory' can’t make the past worth revisiting.”
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David Cote

The Wrap - Not Recommended

“If any show ever begged for reinvention, it’s this one. That modus operandi seems to have completely escaped Nunn & Co., so they essentially go for the pure-nostalgia jugular. But stage-musical palettes have become far more sophisticated of late. ‘Cats’ could easily have taken on a high-concept reboot...This revival provokes but one response to the show’s onetime tagline: now and whatever.”
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Jason Clark

NY Magazine - Recommended

“The wan revival at least gets the lighting right...No greater ambition seems to have animated the revival as a whole. Other than Katz’s spectacular lighting, the design and staging are at best equivalent to the original’s, even after decades of adjustments and second thoughts...Seeing it 34 years later, in a Broadway environment that has recently produced the likes of ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Fun Home’, is to experience something milder and less dangerous than it once seemed.”
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Jesse Green

The Guardian - Somewhat Recommended

“As with every Andrew Lloyd Webber musical I’ve ever been to, I travelled home afterwards humming a tune that had drilled its way into my brain like a flesh-eating worm. I will also admit that, while there was, as ever, no plot, no subtext, no apparent point to 'Cats,' in the aftermath of seeing it I felt very cheerful...I can’t see it flying on Broadway in 2016. Too slow, too tame, too threadbare. And so why, 24 hours after seeing it and somewhat to my annoyance, am I still smiling?”
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Emma Brockes

Telegraph - Somewhat Recommended

"Leona Lewis’s star-wattage is strong – but she needs to lose some of her sheen…Her singing voice is loud and clear, but a touch too serene, needing more of a hint of the gutter…The supporting cast are terrific…This 'Cats' remains an evening of fluff and nonsense, really, with leg-warmers and cutesy costumes that should be risible to a cynic’s eyes. Yet such is the innate confidence and innocent zest of this bizarre, feline spectacle that all cynicism just moults away."
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Dominic Cavendish

CurtainUp - Recommended

"No doubt the success of the 2014 revival of 'Cats' in London encouraged the producers to bring it back to New York. And wisely, they've done so with a new cast of top to bottom standouts and vital and fresh choreography that retained the feeling of the original. This does indeed boost the show's strong points...The ballet sequences seem especially take-your-breath-way spectacular...'Cats' may not be a great musical, but it's a great visual spectacle expertly performed."
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Elyse Sommer

Lighting and Sound America - Somewhat Recommended

“Trevor Nunn's production gives this 35-year-old show the sparkle and precision of a brand-new hit...Best of all is a cast superbly equipped to mine every bit of entertainment value in this extremely peculiar material...The moments when the energy mysteriously slips away for a few minutes are built into the show...It's hard to escape the feeling that a very casual piece of source material has been blown up far beyond its limits into something only intermittently charming - and often perplexing.”
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David Barbour - Not Recommended

"The show, which has been fairly faithfully reproduced by original director Trevor Nunn, has the same love-it or hate-it qualities it always did. For me, the plusses, led by Gillian Lynne’s extraordinary choreography (danced by one of the finest ensembles ever assembled for Broadway), don’t outweigh the minuses, especially the thin plot and often nonsensical lyrics...As for those performers, they are a slightly mixed litter...We could do worse (and better) than this one.
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Brian Scott Lipton

TheaterMania - Recommended

"Nunn seems to have revisited the material with the attitude, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Despite new choreography and cutting-edge lighting, it still carries a retro vibe...Plot is ancillary to a beautiful fantasy conveyed through music and dance...Still, if you look around and see the remarkable creativity and innovation happening on Broadway these days, it is hard to view this production as anything more than a museum piece."
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Zachary Stewart - Highly Recommended

"My foggy memories of the original production of 'Cats' aren’t fond ones. It all seemed so silly, superficial and overhyped. So it was an extraordinary surprise that the 'Cats' revival at the Neil Simon Theatre turned out to be a melodious, witty and—most shocking!—worthwhile, stylish entertainment."
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Joel Benjamin

Scribicide - Somewhat Recommended

"Really, the whole thing is so damn stupid that it is difficult to believe it was conceived by adults. But I would be lying if I wrote that it didn’t have its endearing moments."
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Aaron Botwick

Huffington Post - Highly Recommended

"The revival, again directed by Trevor Nunn, is absolutely as entertaining as initially it was...New choreographer, Tony-winning Andy Blankenbuehler, has been respectfully true to Gillian Lynne’s seminal work while beautifully enhancing it...There are so many astonishing aspects to 'Cats' that it’s a challenge to decide where to continue the praise. The cast isn’t a bad place...The moving bodies are mesmerizing, and Blankenbuehler makes certain the movement rarely slows."
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David Finkle

Theatre Reviews Limited - Recommended

"There is nothing really new in this current revival of 'Cats'...Unchanged is the somewhat discordant presence of what Mr. Webber has imagined as the main character of 'Cats:' the Glamor Cat Grizabella...That said, the named Cats and the Cats chorus provides sufficient energy to overcome this significant flaw in the current production...'Cats' will continue to excite the senses of the young and the not so young and the musical will still embody the brilliance of the poetry."
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David Roberts

Broadway Blog - Recommended

“For those who saw the original mega-hit, things look strikingly familiar...But where this ‘Cats’ strays from its predecessor is in its choreography, brilliantly reimagined by Andy Blankenbuehler and based on original choreography by Gillian Lynne...Though Lewis has the vocal chops, she’s markedly uncomfortable in comparison to her onstage litter...Only time will tell is this ‘Cats’ has staying power, but as we all know, cats tend to multiply.”
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Matthew Wexler

Stage Buddy - Recommended

"Fans of the musical will be happy to learn that very little has been altered from the production they grew up loving, and new audience members will be either perplexed or rejoiced at the fact that they will be able to experience almost the same show people saw more than 30 years ago. What’s surprising is that for all of its familiarity, the show’s sincerity makes it unexpectedly relevant in terms of sociopolitical content. It’s simply the perfect musical for 2016."
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Jose Solis

Theater Pizzazz - Highly Recommended

“Uproariously funny as well as surreptitiously thought-provoking...Ben DeLa Creme, acting as our Virgil, gives a high energy performance that never flags and keeps the audience engaged and mostly laughing throughout...This is a one-person show that doesn’t seem like one...It’s impossible to convey how much fun the audience was having: laughing, clapping hands in time to the music and ignoring the food.”
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Beatrice Williams-Rude

Towle Road - Recommended

"Much like the animals that inspired it, 'Cats' is divisive...It is also hands-down the most openly bizarre piece of entertainment to ever be so popular...The cast assembled here delivers 110 percent. There’s something marvelous about a chorus line of expressive cats eliciting applause simply by moving downstage. No smoke and mirrors or clever rap lyrics, just heavy makeup, unblinking stares, and bodysuits with tails."
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Naveen Kumar

Front Row Center - Somewhat Recommended

"'Cats' is pure spectacle…It is shimmering, leaping, booty shaking spectacle. There should be a Tony for the ensemble of dancers in this production. They ARE the production…Ms. Lewis appears uncertain of what she should do onstage. An actor she is not. A mighty singer she is...After a bit, all these impeccably costumed folks begin to blend together in a tabby tuffet that becomes too much of a good thing."
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Tulis McCall

WNBC - Recommended

“A nostalgia trip with updated choreography, this new ‘Cats’ is peppy and kinetic, if sometimes a tad monotonous...Blankenbuehler’s work acutely enhances the personality of each cat...Full of catchy pop tunes many of us have known for decades. Webber’s songs don’t have the tightest of melodies, but I’ll take ‘Cats’ over ‘School of Rock’ any day. As a wistful recollection, ‘Cats’ is guaranteed to leave you feline groovy.”
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Robert Kahn

StageZine - Recommended

“One wonders if Mr. Nunn’s revival might have been more powerful had he put a modern, fresh spin on the show...However, gimmicky revivals almost never work so Mr. Nunn was wise not to tamper too much with Mr. Lloyd Webber’s winning formula. It is debatable whether this production will win over new generations, but if you enjoyed ‘Cats’ before and want to relive the ‘Memory’ again, there is plenty to enjoy here.”
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Scott Harrah

ZEALnyc - Recommended

“There’s no disputing Andrew Lloyd Webber knows how to write popular melodies that stick to your brain...I can tell you that the dancing is dazzling...I’m glad to tell you that this revival isn’t a tired re-run. It’s as fresh and lively as if it had been newly created. The lyrics are charming, and it doesn’t require much thought to enjoy them as a musical stage presentation. Overall, ‘Cats’ is a lighthearted, entertaining way to spend a couple of hours. Sometimes that’s all you want.”
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Sheila Kogan

Off Script with Dan Dwyer - Somewhat Recommended

“The story looms weaker than it really is, and the songs, despite the powerful dance that connects them, emerge like discrete, unconnected music hall skits...Novel back in the 80s, but the novelty has worn off, certainly to those who witnessed its first incarnation...The real strength of the revived ‘Cats’ is the cast…The dizzying dance, the crowd-pleasing performances, the fantastical production design all combine to make ‘Cats’ surely an irresistible spectacle for new, 21st century audiences.”
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Dan Dwyer

Musical Theater Review - Highly Recommended

“I can say that the current staging doesn’t seem to vary much in format from what I remember seeing at the show’s first mounting on Broadway...But somehow I was caught up in the antics of these performers pretending to be cats as if I were seeing the whole thing for the first time...It’s the entire 40-member cast plus orchestra and crew, all of them seemingly giving their all, who make sure that this new production is absolutely the cat’s pajamas.”
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Ron Cohen

ThisbroadSway - Somewhat Recommended

"Your destination is a good time. The musical gets you there with haste and precision under ideal conditions; this revival still manages, though it trips up more than it ought to...These stumbles are primarily due to the new choreography...Blankenbuehler's dances are attractive and kinetic almost to the point of being needlessly busy...Is it ever going to be a revered classic? Doubtful...But this production proves, despite its missteps, that it's capable of harnessing pure theatrical enjoyment."
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Matthew Murray

Out Magazine - Recommended

"When I caught the original show in its staggering 18-year run, I was bored to distraction - yes, I took a catnap - but this time, I succumbed to the show’s melodic, diverse score and expert razzle dazzle...The gussied-up cast is tireless and fully committed, remarkably choreographed with hot numbers...The original director and designer, Trevor Nunn and John Napier, are back, and it remains a pleasing entertainment full of whimsy and pain, and it doesn’t deserve a spaying."
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Michael Musto

Wolf Entertainment Guide - Recommended

"This is above all a spectacle with appeal to those who get theatergoing kicks from costumes, lighting, cast members roaming the aisles to sing to spectators, and assorted scenic stunts...This show, again directed by Trevor Nunn, is among the most steadily choreographed productions on Broadway at the moment...The show is enlivened by individual turns that are appealing by any standard."
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William Wolf

Front Mezz Junkies - Recommended

“Some shows don’t age so well. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad show in any way but it has just been remounted, not revived...The choreography may have new aspects in there, but it doesn’t feel any different...The show lacks anything new or innovative. If you’ve never seen the show, it’s worth the visit, strictly to experience an iconic show
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Steven Ross

The Stage - Recommended

"The first Broadway revival of 'Cats,' which is neither wholly reimagined nor an exact replica of the original, is unlikely to turn off 'Cats'-lovers, nor win over 'Cats'-loathers. It works best as a showcase for the energetic young cast and what it does best – which is dance...If the lyrics are largely lost in the swirl, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score holds up. The performances, though, are uneven."
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Jonathan Mandell

Center on the Aisle - Not Recommended

"'Cats' mostly feels old. This musical’s better days may now be behind it, leaving you to question, how did the fur ever take flight 24 years ago?...Not even the nostalgia of magical, Mr. Mistoffelees, danced spectacularly by Ricky Ubeda, can turn back the clock to a time when 'Cats' was considered to be one of the purest expressions of theatre magic and fantasy. Now it all just seems too familiar."
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Meredith Ganzman

Reflections in the Light - Somewhat Recommended

"This is one of those shows, like Cirque du Soleil, where we’ll probably never quite understand what is taking place, but we’ll enjoy the visible and vocal display on stage...These 2016 Cats seem more like they are just dancing around instead of making us forget they are actors and not really cats. Without that added charm, I felt like taking a big stretch into a cat nap at intermission."
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Lauren Yarger

Broadway World - Recommended

"A sweet and endearing revival...While not every role requires triple-threat expertise, 'Cats' makes some serious acting, singing and dancing demands on its company and Nunn's litter is packed with terrific performers...Pop star Leona Lewis has been cast as Grizabella. She has no acting credits in her bio and it shows, making the evening's climactic moment a sad letdown."
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Michael Dale