The casting of Hoty (Footloose, City of Angels) had long been rumored but not confirmed. She will co-star with Tommy Tune, who directed her in The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and The Will Rogers Follies.
As previously reported, Tune will star as Dolittle (a role created by Rex Harrison) and direct the production, which launches Jan. 17, 2006, at the Hobby Center in Houston.
Twelve-year-old newcomer Aaron Burr was handpicked by Tommy Tune to play Chee-Chee the chimpanzee. This past summer, Burr won the Greatest Dancer competition on ABC's "Good Morning America," judged by Tune and a handful of other celebrity judges.
Filling out the cast are Joel Blum, Amanda Braddock, Jessica Leigh Brown, Kristin Dawn Calgaro, Matthew Crowle, Sandi DeGeorge, Jack Doyle, Mike Erickson, Joe Jackson, Lesley M. Klose, Scott Leindecker, Allan Mangasser, Amanda Rose, Jonathan Sandler, Sarah Stiles, Sally Ann Swarm, Elisa Van Duyne, David F.M. Vaughn, Erin Webley, Steven Wenslawski and Jessica Wu. Adam Cates and Denise Payne are the swings.
Dr. Dolittle features a book, music and lyrics written by Leslie Bricusse. Book revisions are by Lee Tannen. This is a reconceived mounting of the national tour that closed in October after nine weeks on the road. The cast and some of the creative team is new. Patti Colombo will choreograph, but Tune's expert eye will create the stage pictures.
The score, drawn from the 1967 film of the same name, includes the Oscar-winning "Talk to the Animals," plus "When I Look in Your Eyes," "I've Never Seen Anything Like It" and "After Today." The film and show were inspired by Hugh Lofting's stories.
The creative team from 2005 remains costume designer Ann Hould-Ward (with new costumes for Tune by Dona Granata), set designer Kenneth Foy, lighting designer Ken Billington and puppet designer Michael Curry (The Lion King). Michael Biagi is the musical director.
Following the two-week Houston engagement, Dr. Dolittlewill play The Buell Theater in Denver (Jan. 31–Feb. 12); The Pantages in Los Angeles (Feb. 21–March 5); the Civic Theatre in San Diego (March 7–12); the Civic Theatre in Tucson (March 14-19); Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa (March 21-April 2); DuPont Theatre in Wilmington (April 7-16); the Palace Theatre in Cleveland (April 18-30); Providence Performing Arts Center (May 2-7); Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh (May 9-14); the Fox Theatre in St. Louis (May 16-28); Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady (May 31-June 4); DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids (June 6-11); Community Center Theater in Sacramento (June 13-25); Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, AR (June 27-July 2); and the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago (July 18-30).
Additional summer and fall engagements will be announced at a later date.
Dr. Dolittle is produced by Pittsburgh CLO, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Independent Presenters Network and Columbia Artists Theatricals.
For more information, visit www.drdolittlethemusical.com.