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What: Cats the musical Where: Dubai Opera When: January 16 to 28 Joining the epic line-up at Dubai Opera this month is the legendary musical, Cats. Rum Tum Tugger, Mr Mistoffelees and the rest of the allsinging, all-dancing Jellicle Cats bring the epic musical to Dubai, adding yet another city to one of the most well-travelled shows in the world. The show is celebrating its 35th anniversary and has reportedly grossed more than US$2.16 billion worldwide – not bad for a musical that was almost never made. The legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber had to take out a second mortgage in the late ’70s as he and producer Cameron Mackintosh couldn’t raise enough money to fund the show. Critics were dubious about a musical based on a children’s poetry book, T S Eliot’s 1939 Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats. The story goes that the author’s widow Valerie gave Webber an unfinished poem that never made it into the book – Eliot had deemed it too dark for children – and from those few lines came the show’s starring role Grizabella and the song Memory. A young Judi Dench was originally lined up for Grizabella the Glamour Cat, but had to pull out after tearing her Achilles tendon. So the role shot Elaine Page to fame and has since been played by an array of fabulous females, including Lea Salonga and, more recently, Nicola Scherzinger and Leona Lewis. Cats defied critics by attracting sell-out audiences for decades, running for 21 years on the West End and 18 on Broadway, which made it the longest running musical on both at the time. After several years away, the original team brought the musical back with new performers for a new generation of theatre fans, and now they’re heading to Dubai.

Tom Jones The Welsh crooner will play the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival in April

Solar cafe Check out the cute solar-powered Cafe Inn The Park in Al Khazzan Park

Justin Bieber Catch him at the Autism Rocks Arena in May

January 20 Elton John In a month of big name performers, Elton John has beaten the illness that forced him to cancel a recent Dubai show and brings his Wonderful Crazy Night Tour to the Autism Rocks Arena. It’s sure to be one of the biggest shows of 2017. Autism Rocks Arena, Outlet City, Dubai to Al Ain Road, from 5pm, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 2743555. Taxi: Dubai Outlet Mall.

Until February Ollie Howell For Dubai’s coolest spot, head to Quincy Jones’ own bar Q’s Bar. This month British drummer Ollie Howell is the resident musician – the young talent was handpicked and mentored by the producer and composer so you know he’ll be great. Palazzo Versace, Al Jaddaf, Dubai, Mon to Fri 6pm to 2am, Dhs250 minimum spend. Tel: (04) 556 8851. Taxi: Palazzo Versace.

Until April 30 Dubai Garden Glow Zabeel Park’s brightest idea has returned. More than a million LED lights have transformed it into a mystical neon landscape with a glowing jellyfish pond and magical vegetable patch. This year it’s joined by an interactive Jurassic Park with 100 dinosaurs. Gates 6 and 7, Zabeel Park, Al Majlis Street, Za’abeel 1, Dubai, daily 4pm to midnight, Dhs60. Tel: (05) 64467842. Taxi: Zabeel Park.



Dubai Voyager | January 2017  
Dubai Voyager | January 2017