Andrew Lloyd Webber Clarifies Intent of 'KATDASHIANS' Legal Action

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Earlier this week, BWW reported that the new off-Broadway production KATDASHIANS! BREAK THE MUSICAL would have to cut any tunes which resemble music from Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical CATS, following legal pressures from Lloyd Webber's legal team. The lawyers claimed that the show contains "no less than six songs from CATS" and that "continued willful infringement on our client's rights" would result in a claim for damages.

Lawyers for the Tony Award winner also stated that "It is clear that the production is not a parody of 'Cats' ... Our client's property is being extensively misappropriated ... to parody another subject matter entirely."

"We were pretty shocked," says the show's co-creator Tobly McSmith after the legal threat came down from Webber's attorneys. "We are fans of Webber and his work ... We thought he'd enjoy the parodies we did of his songs, but apparently he did not." McSmith and his creative team have agreed that any "Cats" songs which appear in the show will now be replaced by their own original music.

In a new interview with The New York Post's Michael Riedel, Lloyd Webber clarifies that the legal action was not about the use of his songs, but rather his intent to protect the works of poet T.S. Eliot, who penned the poems that inspired the musical CATS.

Webber tells Riedel that he "normally turns a blind eye to this sort of thing," but in this case could not do so due to a contract with the estate of the iconic poet. "It was difficult to persuade Eliot's widow ... to allow us to use Eliot's poems," he said.

The agreement states that Eliot's work cannot be used "in a parody or in a way that could bring his poems in disrepute." Explained the Tony Award winner, "So even if I loved ['Katdashians'], I am legally obligated ... to protect the work" of the poet.

The first-ever Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical, CATS will open on Broadway this summer at the Neil Simon Theatre with preview performances beginning Thursday, July 14, 2016, and an official opening set for Sunday, July 31, 2016.

Katdashians! Break The Musical! is the unauthorized parody of the Kardashians. The show was created by Bob and Tobly McSmith, the creators of Full House! The Musical; Bayside! The Saved by the Bell Musical; and Showgirls! The Musical working with Bailey Nolan (BabySkinGlove) and Viva Soudan (Viva Bodyroll).


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