A week had already been cut out of the MSG booking, and ticketholders in future cities (there were May dates in San Antonio, TX, and Pittsburgh, and elsewhere) have been told that engagements in their markets won't happen because the tour will be suspended after the New York run. Newspapers in San Antonio and Pittsburgh reported the news in recent days. Phone calls to the production's New York City press office were not returned.
Broadway's Sara Gettelfinger, of Seussical, Nine and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, joined the cast of the national tour starting with the Chicago run on Feb. 16. Playing Cruella De Vil, she replaced Rachel York, who launched the tour Oct. 13, 2009, at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.
Inspired by the 1956 story by Dodie Smith, 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 rock band STYX.
Gettelfinger heads a cast of 30 that features James Ludwig as Pongo. The cast also includes Chip Abbott, Joel Blum, Sammy Borla, Lakisha Anne Bowen, Jeff Scot Carey, Kristy Cavanaugh, Lydia Rose Clemente, Piper Curda, Joseph Dellger, Madeleine Doherty, Garett Hawe, Michael Thomas Holmes, Robert Anthony Jones, Kevin C. Loomis, Erin Maguire, Mike Masters, Neal Mayer, Catherine Missal, Erin Mosher, Ah-Niyah Yonay Neal, Catia Ojeda, Clark Kelley Oliver, Chuck Ragsdale, Molly Sorohan, Kendra Tate, Austin Zambito-Valente and Emma Zaks.
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 plays Missus, wife to Pongo and loving mother of the Dalmatian puppies that Cruella de Vil has dognapped.
In the show, Dalmatian spouses Pongo and Missis Pongo live 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."
For more information on The 101 Dalmatians Musical, visit www.The101DalmatiansMusical.com.