NEW YORK (AP) — British singer Leona Lewis will play the ragged and lonely star Grizabella in the Broadway revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats."
The former "X Factor" winner will get to sing the show's signature song, "Memory," in the show's opulent finale, and then be led to "the heavy-side layer," a sort of cats' version of heaven.
After clinching the third "X Factor" in 2006, Lewis' first original single, "Bleeding Love," reached No. 1 in 35 countries. She is a three-time Grammy Award nominee who last year released her fifth album "I Am" after splitting from Simon Cowell's record company.
"Cats" is based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot. It bid farewell to Broadway in 2000 after an almost 18-year run in a confetti-strewn final performance that ended up being No. 7,485.
The revival will find its new litter box at the Neil Simon Theatre under its original director, Trevor Nunn. Previews begin July 14 and opening night is July 31.
The revival will join two other Lloyd Webber shows on Broadway — the new "School of Rock" and the unstoppable "The Phantom of the Opera." The original "Cats" is the fourth longest running show in Broadway history.
The new creative team will include Andy Blankenbuehler as choreographer, Natasha Katz as lighting designer and John Napier doing scenic and costume designs.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits