30 years ago – On October 8, 1982, the musical Cats made its debut on Broadway. It had first premiered in London in May 1981. Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats is based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), a collection of poems he wrote for his godchildren. The show, which featured the wildly popular song “Memory,” tells the story of the Jellicle tribe of cats and their process of identifying one cat for a new life (via something called the “Heaviside Layer”). In 1997, after 18 years, Cats became the longest-running musical in Broadway history (6,138 performances), and closed in September 2000 (after 7,485 performances). Its record was surpassed in 2006 by The Phantom of the Opera, also by Lloyd Webber, but it remains Broadway's second longest-running show.