Featuring a score by STYX rocker Dennis DeYoung and a book by Zaks' protégé and Billy Elliot resident director BT McNicholl, 101 Dalmatians: The Musical is a fresh take on the 1957 novel by British author Dodie Smith.
The production, which will incorporate actors dressed as dogs in addition to 15 actual spotted pooches, is told from the Dalmatians' point of view. Casting for the tour will be announced shortly.
The touring schedule for 101 Dalmatians: The Musical follows:
Minneapolis, MN (Oct. 13-18 at the Orpheum Theatre)
Appleton, WI (Oct. 20-25 at the Fox Cities PAC)
Atlanta, GA (Oct. 28-Nov. 1 at the Cobb Center)
Washington, DC (Nov. 3-15 at the Warner Theater)
Detroit, MI (Nov. 17-22 at the Fox Theatre)
Austin, TX (Nov. 24-29 at the Long Center)
Dallas, TX (Dec. 1-20 at the Music Hall)
Boston, MA (Dec. 23-27 at the Citi Center)
Miami, FL (Dec. 30, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010 at the Arsht Center)
Birmingham, AL (Jan. 12-17, 2010 at the BJCC)
Nashville, TN (Jan. 19-24, 2010 at the TPAC)
East Lansing, MI (Jan. 26-31, 2010 at the Wharton Center)
Toronto, ON (Feb. 2-14, 2010 at the Princess of Wales Theatre)
Chicago, IL (Feb. 16-28, 2010 at the Oriental Theatre)
Columbus, OH (March 2-7, 2010 at the Palace Theatre)
Indianapolis, IN (March 9-14, 2010 at Clowes Hall)
Providence, RI (March 16-21, 2010 at the PPAC)
Wallingford, CT (March 23-28, 2010 at the Chevrolet Theatre)
New York, NY (April 6-25, 2010 at the WaMu Theatre)
Tulsa, OK (April 27-May 2, 2010 at the Brady Theatre)
San Antonio, TX (May 4-9, 2010 at the Majestic Theatre)
Kansas City, MO (May 11-16, 2010 at the Music Hall)
Pittsburgh, PA (May 18-23, 2010 at Heinz Hall)
San Diego, CA (June 1-6, 2010 at the Civic Theatre)
Los Angeles, CA (June 8-20, 2010 at the Pantages Theatre)
101 Dalmatians: The Musical, according to press notes, "follows Dalmatians spouses Pongo and Missis Pongo who are living the good life in London with their 'pets' Charles and Catherine Dearly. When their 10 puppies are suddenly 'dognapped' by the villainous Cruella de Vil, they summon the help of a vast network of dogs and set off to rescue their pups. There’s a happy ending for all with laughter, mayhem and music along the way." The production will have choreography by Warren Carlyle (Tale of Two Cities, Finian's Rainbow), lighting design by Paul Gallo, costume design by Robert Morgan, scenic design by Heidi Ettinger, orchestrations by Danny Troob, with dance arrangements by Mark Hummel. Joel Slaven is the dog trainer for 101 Dalmatians.
McNicholl said in a previous statement, "Here is an enchanting, upside-down vision of the world: seeing life from the dogs' point of view. Embracing this wonderfully daft proposition, we are instantly transported to a slightly topsy-turvy, exciting, and altogether fantastic reality that gives grand license for song, dance and spectacle."
Humans will be "in a heightened form of dress and scale so as to appear larger than life — as they would seem from a dog's point of view," stated Zaks. The Dalmatians will have "no ears, no paws — but, rather, a clever use of costumes in the black-and-white palette that will immediately set them apart from the human characters. This represents a technical solution to the question, 'How do we present dogs and humans on stage simultaneously?'"
BT McNicholl is a BMI Award-winning librettist and lyricist, whose work includes the musical The It Girl (published by Samuel French and Hal Leonard Publishing). He is also a respected director.
DeYoung is best known as keyboardist, songwriter and a founding member of the rock group Styx. He was the lead singer and composer of Styx hits, "Lady," "Come Sail Away," "Best of Times," "Mr. Roboto," and more. His musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame was an extended hit in Chicago in 2008. (The first production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was staged in Nashville, by the Tennessee Repertory Theater.) For more information, visit Dennis DeYoung.com.
Zaks won Tony Awards for Direction of Six Degrees of Separation, Lend Me a Tenor, The House of Blue Leaves and Guys and Dolls. He also directed the popular Smokey Joe's Café and the revivals of Anything Goes and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (he was Tony-nominated for all three).
The musical is produced by Magic Arts & Entertainment/Tix Productions, Troika Entertainment, and international producer Luis Alvarez.
For tickets, visit The101DalmatiansMusical.