Seeing CATS, I was surprised to hear Tom Hooper has gone back to the original version of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, as I was under the impression that this version of the number had been at some point replaced by the more vaudevillian song written for the Broadway production. Can anyone confirm if the original London production ever switched the songs, and if so, when?
CATSNYrevival said: "The original production at the New London Theatre opened and closed with the jazzier version heard on the original London cast recording. “The Ballad of Billy McCow” was, however, replaced with the Italian aria heard on the Broadway cast album at some point in the early 90s. I want to say 1993 but that could be wrong.""The Ballad of Billy McCaw" was my favorite part of the show. I don't understand why it's always cut, from the original Broadway production, to the (now) two film versions. I'd probably have gone to the new film, despite the horrendous reviews, had they kept it in.
are you totally sure? I could have swore the times I saw the show in london they were using the Broadway version but with the 2 cats singing (like in the DVD)I am also a minority who prefers the original version. I dont mind Billy McCaw but I always preferred the Italian Aria once its done right. I think it does not work when played outright for laughs, it works best when it is played like it is to be serious, but in the end comes off comical unintentionally (ie, take out all the mugging and faces and bad singing, play it straight but for laughs) if that makes sense.
My confusion really stems from the 1998 film, which included the duet version of the rewritten song, but was apparently based on the current London production. Did they just decided they wanted to use the other song on the video? Or had, by that time, the song been put into the London version?
According to a YouTube comment, the song switch was made in 1996.
The London production definitely replaced the original version of the M&R song with the Broadway one during the 1980s, but retained the original choreography (I think) albeit with some changes to the counts and beats. I think the original version may have gone back in late in the run, although I couldn't swear to that.
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