The upcoming live-action adaptation of “Cats” has original cast member (and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s ex-wife) Sarah Brightman’s stamp of approval.
“Technically, it’s going to be amazing,” Brightman, 58, told Page Six of the movie musical, whose star-studded cast includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo, Ian McKellen and Idris Elba. “I know a lot of the people behind the movie; they’ve got a lot of really clever people who know exactly what they’re doing, which I’m absolutely delighted about.”
Directed by Tom Hooper and slated for a December 2019 release, the big-screen version of “Cats” has already become something of a pop-cultural punching bag — but according to Brightman, that’s just another example of history repeating itself.
“It was a very difficult thing to imagine how it could be in the theater,” Brightman recalled of the polarizing show, which opened in 1981 and is based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot. “I don’t think anybody really realized how it was going to get together. It was a workshop, really, and we were all trying to figure it out. It was just by working all hours of the day and trying things with the music that we got there in the end.”
Brightman and the rest of the cast were also concerned about how the show’s costumes, which include skintight spandex unitards and wild face paint, would be received. “When we were backstage in these crazy, punky wigs and costumes with tails, I remember looking at someone — I think it was Bonnie Langford — and I said, ‘Bonnie, what are people going to think?!’” the famous soprano said.
“Cats” went on to become one of the longest-running and highest-grossing Broadway shows of all time; time will tell whether the film adaptation follows in its furry footsteps.
Brightman, who also originated the role of Christine Daaé in Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” is currently touring in support of her new album “HYMN,” and will soon unveil a bespoke line of jewelry and accessories for Swarovski.
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