Today marks the 30th anniversary of Cats' Broadway premiere. Based on the whimsical poems of T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats," the musical first premiered on London’s West End in 1981 before opening at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre on October 7, 1982 (the same theater where West Side Story premiered 25 years earlier).

Andrew Lloyd Webber decided to adapt Eliot's 1939 book "partly because it is a book I remember with affection from my childhood and partly because I wanted to set existing verse to music,” he wrote in the original London production program.

The musical, which tells the story of the one night of the year when the leader of a group of cats chooses a cat to be reborn, is nearly all song with no spoken dialogue, a result of what Weber called its "extraordinarily musical" original verses. Over the decades, it's been no slouch at the awards shows, picking up two Olivier Awards and 7 Tonys, including for Best Musical and Best Original Score. Its closure on September 10, 2000 made it the second longest running show in Broadway history,.

Did you get to catch the iconic show? Let us know in the comments section and check out our slideshow of past 'Cats' productions below:

Loading Slideshow...
  • "Cats" on Broadway

    An image from the original 1982 production of "Cats" at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway.

  • "Cats" on Broadway

    Performers from the Broadway musical "CATS" appear in this undated handout photograph.

  • "Cats" on Broadway

    Cats, the longest running show in Broadway history.

  • "Cats" on Broadway

    With the cast filling the stage, "Cats," Broadway's longest-running show, completes its 7,485th and final performance at the Winter Garden Theater, bringing to a close an 18-year run. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

  • "Cats" on Broadway

    Actress-singer Betty Buckley performs in the role of Grizabella in the Broadway musical "Cats" at the 37th Annual Tony Awards ceremony at New York's Uris Theatre, Sunday, June 5, 1983. "Cats," based on the late T.S. Eliot's feline poetry, won seven awards and Buckley won best featured actress in a musical.

  • "Cats" on Broadway

    Marlene Danielle looking kittenish backstage at the Winter Garden Theater.

  • "Cats" on Broadway

    Cast members of the Broadway musical "Cats" pose with a couple of authentic cats at the musical's sixth anniversary celebration at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York Wednesday, October 6, 1988. The cats were on loan from the Bide-a-wee Home Association, a Manhattan-based organization which finds homes for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies.