The "Growltiger's Last Stand" sequence has been changed multiple times over the course of the show's history. In the original London production, the "last duet" for Growltiger and Griddlebone was a setting for an unpublished Eliot poem, "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw". For the original Broadway production, the Ballad was replaced with "In Una Tepida Notte", a parody of Italian opera.[95] The mock aria was introduced so as to add more slapstick humour and its lyrics are based on the Italian translation of the "Growltiger's Last Stand" poem.[386] This new version was eventually incorporated into all other productions of Cats.[95]
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Influenced by the show's success in Vienna, a German production by Stella Entertainment premiered in April 1986 at the newly-renovated Operettenhaus in Hamburg.[173][179] It closed in January 2001 after 15 years, having played over 6,100 performances to 6.2 million audiences.[179][180] Cats was the first stage production in the country to be mounted without any public funding and was also the first to run for multiple years; its success established the medium as a profitable venture in Germany.[180] The musical was also a huge boost for tourism in Hamburg, particularly the subdivision of St. Pauli where it accounted for 30% of all tourists. The number of overnight visitors to the city increased by over one million per year within the first five years of the show's premiere.[179]
Nunn was also adamant that the orchestra for Cats be hidden backstage — out of the audience's view — so as not to break the immersion.[90] Adding to the experience, the show usually includes a lot of audience interaction, such as during the overture when the cast don flashing "green eyes" as they make their way through the audience in the darkened theatre.[80][91] In the original Broadway production, catwalks were built to connect the stage to the boxes and balcony so as to give the cast access to the entire auditorium during the show.[92]

It was long thought that cat domestication was initiated in Egypt, because cats in ancient Egypt were venerated from around 3100 BC.[11][12] However, the earliest indication for the taming of an African wildcat (F. lybica) was found in Cyprus, where a cat skeleton was excavated close by a human Neolithic grave dating to around 7500 BC.[13] African wildcats were probably first domesticated in the Near East.[14] The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was tamed independently in China around 5500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domestic cat populations of today.[15][16]
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