Among the original cast members of the Broadway production of Cats, Stephen Mo Hanan (then called simply Stephen Hanan) received some of the most tumultuous praise upon opening night, Oct. 7, 1982. For his portrayals of Bustopher Jones, Asparagus and Growltiger, he won a Tony nomination — one of only three felines to be so honored.
During the musical's six-week rehearsal process, Hanan (who has since gone on to be the co-author of the Off-Broadway-bound Jolson & Co.) kept a meticulous diary. Just before the landmark show recently closed last year, on Sept. 10, 2000, Hanan rediscovered his journal. Excerpts were subsequently printed exclusively on Playbill On-Line.
Those excerpts attracted the attention of Marisa Kraus of the Smith and Kraus theatrical publishing firm in New Hampshire. She decided the journal warranted publication as a book. This November, that volume, titled The Cat's Diary, will finally hits the stores.
The soft cover book runs a little more than 100 pages and is expected to feature an introduction by Trevor Nunn, the original director of Cats (who actually once admonished Hanan not to keep a rehearsal diary). The list price is $16.95. Several reading are being planned.