Who Let the Dogs Out? 101 Dalmatians Musical Parks and Barks in Minneapolis

By Kenneth Jones
13 Oct 2009

Rachel York
Rachel York

Rachel York is Cruella de Vil, the villainess with a taste for fur, in the new family-friendly touring show The 101 Dalmatians Musical, which is unleashed in its world premiere starting Oct. 13 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.

The Midwest launch of the tour will be followed by visits to major markets, including New York City.

Based on the 1956 classic story written by Dodie Smith, the new musical features Broadway veterans and newcomers. Drama Desk Award winner York (Victor/Victoria, City of Angels, Dessa Rose) is evil Cruella, who plots to kidnap puppies for their fur.

The 101 Dalmatians Musical — which does not use musical elements from the Walt Disney versions of the story — has a creative team led by four-time Tony Award winning director Jerry Zaks (A Bronx Tale, Smokey Joe's Café, Guys and Dolls), bookwriter and co-lyricist BT McNicholl (The IT Girl) and composer and co-lyricist Dennis DeYoung, best known as the founding member of the legendary rock band STYX.

Magic Arts & Entertainment/Tix Corporation, Troika Entertainment, and international producer Luis Alvarez are the producers.

Real dogs play a role in the show's finale.


James Ludwig plays Pongo, "the Dalmatian patriarch who must lead the charge in rescuing his puppies." Ludwig appeared on Broadway in Spamalot and Little Shop of Horrors.

Newcomer Catia Ojeda will play Missus, wife to Pongo and loving mother of the Dalmatian puppies that Cruella de Vil has dognapped.

Julie Foldesi (Broadway's South Pacific, Little Women and The Full Monty) will be Perdita, who helps care for the Dalmatian puppies as Pongo and Missus' family nurse.

The company includes Sammy Borla (Lucky), Lydia Clemente (Cadpig), Piper Curda (Roly-Poly), Madeleine Doherty (Nanny Butler, Gypsy Wife; u/s Cruella), Michael Thomas Holmes (Jasper, Gruff Yorkie), Robert Anthony Jones (Jinx), Erin Maguire (Nanny Cook, Collie Inn Keeper; u/s Cruella), Mike Masters (Mr. Dearly, Horse), Catherine Missal (Patch), Kristen Beth Williams (Mrs. Dearly, Tabby Cat; u/s Missus), Chuck Ragsdale (Prince), Chip Abbott (Ensemble; u/s Perdita's Husband), Joel Blum (Ensemble, Harry De Vil, Gypsy Impresario, Bloodhound Miner; u/s Jasper), Jeff Scot Carey (Ensemble; u/s Pongo, Prince, Mr. Dearly), Kristy Cavanaugh (Ensemble; u/s Dream Perdita), Joseph Dellger (Ensemble, Splendid Vet, Nervous Setter, Tipsy St. Bernard; u/s Jinx), Ashley Blair Fitzgerald (Ensemble, Dream Perdita), Garett Hawe (Ensemble, Perdita's Husband, Beagle), Kevin C. Loomis (Ensemble, Sheepdog), Neal Mayer (Swing), Ah-Niyah Yonay Neal (Ensemble; u/s Patch), Clark Kelley Oliver (Ensemble; u/s Roly-Poly), Gabriel Rush (Ensemble; u/s Lucky) Molly Sorohan (Swing), Kendra Tate (Ensemble; u/s Cadpig) and Emma Zaks (Ensemble, Cruella's Cat; u/s Perdita).

Catia Ojeda
According to production notes, the show "Dalmatian spouses Pongo and Missis Pongo who are living the good life in London with their 'pets' Charles and Catherine Dearly. When their ten 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 101 Dalmatians Musical also stars fifteen real Dalmatians, many of which were rescued from animal shelters across the country, in a surprise grand finale that will leave audiences cheering."

For more information on The 101 Dalmatians Musical, visit www.The101DalmatiansMusical.com.