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Rialto Chatter: Will Leona Lewis Replace Nicole Scherzinger in CATS on Broadway?

Rialto Chatter: Will Leona Lewis Replace Nicole Scherzinger in CATS on Broadway?

As BroadwayWorld recently reported, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber told The Economist Radio that Nicole Scherzinger, who starred as Grizabella in the recent West End revival of Cats, had initially signed on for the upcoming Broadway production but changed her mind just before rehearsals began.

Now rumors are circulating that British singer Leona Lewis might take on the role instead. A source told the Daily Star that Lewis is Lloyd Webber's first choice to replace Scherzinger.

Lewis achieved national recognition when she won the third series of The X Factor in 2006, winning a £1 million recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label, Syco Music. Her winner's single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This", peaked at number one for four weeks on the UK Singles Chart and it broke a world record for having 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes. In February 2007, Lewis signed a five-album contract in the United States with Clive Davis's record label, J Records.

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The first-ever Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical, Cats, will open on Broadway this summer at the Neil Simon Theatre(250 W 52nd Street) with preview performances beginning Thursday, July 14, 2016, and an official opening set for Sunday, July 31, 2016.

The new generation of Cats will include Giuseppe Bausilio as "Carbucketty,"Quentin Earl Darrington as "Old Deuteronomy," Jeremy Davis as "Skimbleshanks,"Kim Faure as "Demeter," Sara Jean Ford as "Jellylorum," Lili Froehlich as "Electra," Daniel Gaymon as "Macavity," Shonica Gooden as "Rumpleteazer,"Christopher Gurr as "Gus/Bustopher Jones," Tyler Hanes as "Rum Tum Tugger,"Andy Huntington Jones as "Munkustrap," Kolton Krouse as "Tumblebrutus," Eloise Kropp as "Jennyanydots / Gumbie," Jess LeProtto as "Mungojerrie," Georgina Pazcoguin as "Victoria," Emily Pynenburg as "Cassandra,"Arianna Rosario as "Sillabub," Ahmad Simmons as "Alonzo,"Christine Cornish Smith "Bombalurina," Corey Snide as "Coricopat," Emily Tate as "Tantomile,"Ricky Ubeda as "Mistoffelees," and Sharrod Williams as "Pouncival,"as well as Richard Todd Adams,Aaron Albano, Callan Bergmann, Claire Camp, Francesca Granell, Jessica Hendy, Harris Milgrim, Madison Mitchell, Nathan Patrick Morgan and Megan Ort.

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of PracticalCats," the original Broadway production opened in 1982 at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre (currently home to Lloyd Webber's newest hit, School of Rock - The Musical), where it ran for 7,485 performances and 18 years. Cats was originally produced on Broadway by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Company Limited, David Geffen, and The Shubert Organization.

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