101 Dalmatians… The Musical!!!

Almost 50 years have passed since Disney released  the famous puppy-infused animated classic, 101 Dalmatians, on the big screen back in 1961. Not only did its release contribute to the entrenchment of the Disney Classics Animation series in the lives of  parents and children alike, but it also managed to reach a cult icon status that has spanned decades of fans, sequels, and now… a musical!

Showing at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, The 101 Dalmatians Musical, comes into Austin next Tuesday, November 24, until its final performance on Sunday, November 29, making it the perfect family event over this Thanksgiving holiday week.

As a classic story, the musical goes beyond good versus evil and shows how a family can band together to overcome hurdles and hardships in the most difficult times. And as a theatrical performance, it takes an interesting point of view inspired by the classic tale first told by Dodie Smith in a novel that preceded the Disney classic. With the rediscovery of this original novel, writer BT McNicholl (of Spamalot fame) was charmed by its whimsical perspective and took note of the “enchanting, upside-down vision of the world: seeing life from the dogs’ point of view.” The book focuses on the Dalmatian dog couple, Pongo and Mrs. Pongo, who own a nice couple of gentle, obedient, and intelligent humans, and as it progresses, the reader is integrated into an adventure from a canine standpoint.

Transforming this vision into a unique interpretation for song, dance, and performance, the musical theatrically plays off the way humans must seem to the canine class. By inverting the standard equation that other animal-based musical productions have taken in terms of costume (i.e. The Lion King and Cats), 101 Dalmatians presents the  animals as humans and the humans in an exotic, heightened form of scale and dress– a larger than life appearance that is equitable to a dog’s daily perspective. And with the Dalmatians void of any animal characteristics, a black and white costume palette sets them apart from the large-scale human characters. And to top everything off, the creators promise a special ending with REAL dalmatian to create an entirely unique Broadway musical finale.

Director Jerry Zaks (of Everybody Loves Raymond fame) makes the compelling point that “theatrical wizardry aside, audiences will want to see The 101 Dalmatians Musical because it’s a classic tale.” With director Jerry Zaks, writer B.T. McNicholl writer, and composer Dennis DeYoung (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) on a collective creative team, the musical promises to take you on a ride to a fantastic, topsy-turvy world. As a show sure to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, it is truly a theatrical experience for the entire family!

Head over to the event page for more information and to learn how to get tickets and make sure to click “I Like It!” for a chance to win FREE TICKETS for opening night on November 24! See you there!


November 18, 2009. Uncategorized.

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