Cats Musical in Broadway NYC: everything you need to know about the show

Since its debut 40 years ago, Cats has generated more than 3 billion sales, making it one of the most popular musicals of all time. Here's everything you need to know to enjoy it in its entirety.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Cats Musical in Broadway NYC: everything you need to know about the show

Scene of the musical Cats on Broadway New York | © Viaggio Routard

Combining your trip to New York with a ticket to one of the most iconic Broadway shows is a great idea. Cats is characterized for being a musical that captures the audience from minute one, a classic valid for all ages and profiles.

It is one of the most famous plays in recent history and is often credited with being the first mega musical in the world. Sounds interesting right? Its songs have been translated into 19 languages and although it is a cat-centered play, its story has become a hit because of the human situations it depicts.

If you are one of those people who enjoy a unique staging and good dancing, Cats is for you.

How to get tickets to see Cats on Broadway

Show Schedule| ©Anna Day
Show Schedule| ©Anna Day

A good option to consider in terms of price and convenience to get Cats tickets is to do it online. Broadway shows in New York attract thousands of tourists every day, so buying your tickets in advance is crucial, not only to secure a good seat, but to get a good price. Currently this event is not available on Hellotickets but many other Broadway in New York events are.

Tickets can also be obtained physically at the theater box office or authorized sales offices, but you run the risk of running out of tickets or missing out on the location you wanted. I'll let you in on a secret: if you buy in advance, you can save money and a little bit of aggravation.

In my opinion, going to a Broadway show is one of the must-see experiences in New York. I remember the first time I went to one, I enjoyed it like a little girl. The actors, the staging, the costumes, the sensations... every penny of the ticket is worth it.

Tickets for New York musicals

How much do tickets for Cats on Broadway cost?

Main dance of the musical| ©Paul Guerrero
Main dance of the musical| ©Paul Guerrero

Speaking of prices, if this is your first time in New York, you might have a small heart attack when you see the prices. Ticket costs range from €60 to €380. As always, it all depends on the chosen location, day of the week and time of purchase:

  • In the last rows and side balconies of the theater: around 60 euros.
  • In the upper box: around 75 euros.
  • In the mezzanine: between 100 and 138 euros.
  • In the stalls and orchestra: from 138 euros.

Finding cheap Broadway tickets is no easy task, but it is true that there are situations that you can take advantage of; like going during the week.

The months in which New York receives high doses of tourism such as Christmas, New Year's Eve or summer, ticket prices can skyrocket. But if you get them early enough (2 or 3 months in advance) it should not be a problem.

On the other hand, twice a year **Broadway Week ** is celebrated, a week in which in order to fill the seats due to the low season they offer 2 for 1 discounts and tickets at a very reduced price.

My tips to get the best tickets

  • If you have a high budget, do not hesitate to take a central location and close to the stage, you will not regret it.
  • If you go between January and February or August and September, take advantage of the Broadway Week discounts.
  • Buy your tickets in advance, you will avoid queues and you will be free to choose your seat.

If you are interested in seeing more than one musical, don't hesitate to consult this guide to the 10 best Broadway musicals.

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The story of Cats

The End of the Cat Musical on Broadway| ©Paul Guerrero
The End of the Cat Musical on Broadway| ©Paul Guerrero

Cats is based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, a childhood favorite of Andrew Lloyd Webber, who would bring this play to the stage for the first time in London's West End in 1981. The book is a sprawling collection of poems chronicling the antics of various kittens. Lloyd turned those poems into lyrics, and subsequently into music.

The musical begins in an elaborate junkyard and centers on the Jellicle Cats, a group of very peculiar felines. The show takes place on the night of the Jellicle Choice, an event where once a year the Jellicles have to choose who among them is most worthy of ascending to the Heaviside Cape. For the election, each feline must present his or her own story to the other cats and to Old Deuteronomy, the great leader.

What happens during the Jellicle Choice?

Each cat tells its story through song and dance, who will be the most deserving to ascend to the Heaviside Cape? This is nothing more and nothing less than a metaphor for heaven, the cat who gets to ascend gets to be born with a new life. The decision becomes more difficult as the play progresses and viewers are drawn into an array of conflicts and characters that may prevent that choice from being made.

What to expect from Cats on Broadway

Part of the cast of Cats on Broadway| ©Mike Prince
Part of the cast of Cats on Broadway| ©Mike Prince

Cats is fantasy, Cats is a world that will leave you highly fascinated. For me, to go see Cats, is not only to become one of the lucky ones who will see the play in all its glory, but to enjoy a musical that will thrill you and with which the time will literally fly by.

When the felines arrive on stage, they introduce themselves as the Jellicle tribe and sing "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats," often breaking the fourth wall between audience and performer (which they will continue to do throughout the show).

There is no dialogue between the musical acts, and the dance is arguably the most important aspect of the work. Each feline has a distinct personality, each bringing a different genre from hip-hop, tap, jazz and contemporary dance to ballet. This is especially apparent during the Jellicle Ball, a 10-minute dance sequence!

What theater is Cats being performed at and what is the address?

Entrance of the Winter Garden Theater in New York| ©Ajay Suresh
Entrance of the Winter Garden Theater in New York| ©Ajay Suresh

Cats is performed at the Winter Garden Theatre, which is located at 1634 Broadway between 50th and 51st Streets in Midtown Manhattan, New York. Its location is excellent for two reasons: getting there by public transportation is very easy and you can also take advantage of it to visit other nearby points of interest.

The best option to get there by public transportation is the subway. Lines 2, 3, 7, 7X, A, E, R and W leave you at a distance of 5 to 7 minutes walking distance. Also, it is the best option if you have the metrocard, a card that I highly recommend.

If you don't know what I'm talking about or you are not yet an expert with the subway, don't worry. In this New York Subway Guide. You will find everything you need, not only to get to Cats but to any corner of New York, the subway in the Big Apple is an experience!

The best time to go

My big tip is to go some time before the play starts, the performances are usually in the afternoon/evening, with the first one starting at 7pm and the last one being at 9:30pm. If you go an hour before your performance, you will be able to stroll through Times Square, take pictures in front of the majestic illuminated Broadway signs or have a snack to get your strength back.

Is Cats a play recommended for minors and can I go with my children?

Waiting to see the show| ©Todd Baker
Waiting to see the show| ©Todd Baker

Going to a musical as a family is probably an experience you will never forget, and even more so if you do it in New York. Cats is one of those shows where you won't have any problem going with minors. Its main characteristics make it an ideal musical even for the youngest ones.

Reasons why Cats is a good play for children

  • The main characters are pets.
  • Its duration is not excessive (we know that sometimes kids can't sit for long hours).
  • The scenography will leave them speechless.
  • They will enjoy the music and dances.
  • It has no obscene dialogues or situations.

Do you need any more ideas to do with your children during those days? It can be the perfect occasion to take a cruise with kids in New York.

What level of English do I need to see Cats on Broadway?

Characters from Cats the musical| ©Paul Guerrero
Characters from Cats the musical| ©Paul Guerrero

As I said before, Cats is a play that has no dialogue between the different musical acts. It is one of those activities that you will enjoy regardless of your level of English. But if you are really curious and want to know more about the play, you can always check its origins online.

Did you know that Cats was one of the longest running musicals on Broadway? Its first highly successful run, from 1982 to 2000, broke records as the longest running show of all time and won numerous awards including Best Musical at the Laurence Olivier and Tony Awards.

Belinda's Traveller Tip

Let the magic of the show surprise you, English is not necessary, so don't watch the acts before you go via youtube or similar.

What to wear on Broadway, is there a dress code for this musical?

Christmas performance of Cats| ©Cristine
Christmas performance of Cats| ©Cristine

There is a very simple answer to this question: you can wear whatever you want. Most Broadway theaters today no longer have dress codes. As long as you have a purchased ticket, you can attend in casual or formal wear.

From a tracksuit, to a cocktail dress. I would say that everything is acceptable and you will see people in all types of attire. However, if your visit coincides with a special presentation, whether it's an inauguration or a gala evening, it might be worth wearing that outfit you love so much and look effortlessly ''smart casual''.

Here are my top secrets on how to dress for a Broadway musical.

My most practical tips when it comes to dressing for a musical

  • Dress respectfully.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • If you wear jeans, try not to wear jeans with holes in them.
  • Don't wear hats or hairstyles that can ruin the view of the person behind you.
  • Avoid wearing too much perfume (some people are allergic).
  • Wear an extra layer to combat the aggressive air conditioning.

Dine before or after a Broadway show

Hard Rock Cafe time Square New York| ©Heath Cajandig
Hard Rock Cafe time Square New York| ©Heath Cajandig

I like to apply the famous phrase ''time is money'' when I'm on vacation, the reason is simple: every second you spend in New York will be worth it and that's why my advice is to always try to have dinner after seeing the show. Of course, check the restaurant schedules or you might get a surprise.

As I mentioned in one of the previous sections, the location of Cats is unbeatable; it is just a few minutes away from Times Square. Why do I focus so much on this information? Because I think that a very good plan is to take a walk through Times Square at sunset, while enjoying the lights and some snacks from the famous fast food street stalls. After that you can go leisurely to see the musical and finish the day with a dinner in the surroundings.

If you dine earlier you have to keep in mind that some shows start early (around 7 pm), which will take time away from other things. It is better to visit an attraction after lunch than at 10 pm, right? Although for tastes colors and so here I leave you a list of the best restaurants near Broadway, either for before or after the show.

Best restaurants near Cats on Broadway

  • Bubba Gump. Straight out of the movie Forrest Gump, this fun restaurant has a variety of dishes and seafood. Prices are between 20 and 30 euros per person.

  • Hard Rock Café. It is one of the main attractions of Times Square and is located in the middle of Broadway theaters. You can taste delicious dishes while admiring exhibitions of your favorite artists. Prices are around 30 euros per person.

  • Sardi's. It has a relaxed and very social atmosphere. Secret! It is not uncommon to see artists having a drink after the show. If you've been particularly taken aback by one of the Jellicle Tribe felines, this is your chance.

  • Joe Allen's. The perfect restaurant for those who want to dine before the show. Its appearance is totally New York and its price is very affordable.

  • Ortzi. An interesting option for those looking for something elegant. It offers special post-theater food. Its best offer? The 20 euro combo of three tapas and a glass of house sangria.

Other Broadway musical options

Aladdin and Yasmin scene in the Broadway musical.| ©Melanie Robertson
Aladdin and Yasmin scene in the Broadway musical.| ©Melanie Robertson

Many people believe that Broadway theatrical productions are the best in the world, which is why it's one of New York's top attractions. If you're still not 100 percent sure that Cats is the right play for you, but seeing a Broadway musical is one of those little thorns in your heart, don't worry; there are more musicals that are also worth seeing.

I recommend you take a look at some other musical guides that might interest you. First of all there is the Lion King, a show that like Cats has always been very famous for its sta ging and the voice of the actors.

You also have the great Aladdin, which despite knowing it thanks to Disney, will not leave you indifferent. His dances will leave you speechless.

Tickets for New York musicals