“Cats”-lover Andrew Lloyd Webber has become a dog person.
The film adaptation of his original production of “Cats” flopped in theaters in 2019, receiving a litter of scathing reviews.
The film was so bad that it made composer Lloyd Webber get a therapy dog.
In an interview with Variety, the Broadway producer said the movie was “off-the-scale all wrong.”
“I saw it, and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no,’ ” he said. “It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.”
According to the musical’s website, “Cats” is one of the longest-running productions in “West End and Broadway history.” After its premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981, the musical has been performed nearly 9,000 times, running for 18 years.
It won the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for best musical, as well as seven Tony Awards — notably, one for Best Musical — and has been seen by more than 73 million people since its world premiere.
But the 2019 movie adaptation left something to be desired.
In addition to critiques of the computer-generated imagery — which circulated online, becoming the punchline to viral memes — the Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes read: “Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery.”
The rest of the reviews also jabbed at the film, saying it was like the producers put a “full-body Snapchat filter” on the actors and that it was a truly “masochistic experience.”
It’s no wonder Lloyd Webber purchased a therapy dog.
The dog — which he named Mojito — became the purr-fect companion for Lloyd Webber during the height of the pandemic in 2020. After spending the entire lockdown together, the acclaimed musical impresario is figuring out a way to bring his furry friend back to New York City, even petitioning to get the dog on a plane.
When the airline asked if he could “prove” that he needed the dog, Lloyd said, “Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical ‘Cats.’ “
To which they responded, with a note of approval, “No doctor’s report required.”