Only two shows have run longer than "Cats."
Which? "A Chorus Line" and - remember? The one kept artificially alive years into the sexual revolution by infusions of foreign businessmen? - "Oh! Calcutta!"To celebrate the "Cats" birthday, the producers invited 1,000 children associated with four charities, a lucky few of whom were later made up as cats by cast members.
What does a show go through in 12 years? Among other sundries: 195 actors, including seven Grizabellas (Liz Callaway right now); 23,580 makeup brushes; 5,184 knee pads; 1,248,000 pounds of dry ice (for smoke); 2,240 pounds of yak hair (for wigs), and 40,136 condoms (for wrapping the body mikes so sweat doesn't short them out).
There have been 40 productions, from Argentina to Iceland and Korea to Switzerland, and the worldwide box-office gross - for something that sprang from a short, plotless T.S. Eliot tribute to favored furballs - is more than $2 billion.