THE 101 DALMATIANS MUSICAL is a Broadway theatre experience for the entire family about what it means to be a family... canine and courageous. More than a simple story about good versus bad (Dalmatians Mr. & Mrs. Pongo against Cruella De Vil and the Baddun brothers), this Broadway musical shows how a family bands together to overcome every hurdle and hardship in the most difficult times.
Dodie Smiths book, The 101 Dalmatians, is beloved around the world and has been translated in 47 languages. THE 101 DALMATIANS MUSICAL is a Broadway theatre adventure story with a lively contemporary score by Dennis DeYoung. The inspiration for the Broadway productions unique and delightful concept came directly from re-discovering the original 101 Dalmatians 1957 novel.
Bookwriter BT McNicholl was charmed by the source materials whimsical point of view:
Not long ago, there lived in London a young married couple of Dalmatian dogs named Pongo and Mrs. Pongo. They were lucky enough to own a young married couple of humans named Mr. and Mrs. Dearly, who were gentle, obedient, and unusually intelligent - almost canine at times.
Here is an enchanting, upside-down vision of the world: seeing life from the dogs point of view, observed McNicholl. 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.
Delivering The 101 Dalmatians authors quirky premise in a Broadway musical required a simple, bold theatrical conceit. We tend to look upon dogs as somewhat unusual, mysterious, and often amusing creatures, and no doubt we must seem the same to them.
Typically, he points out, stage productions present animals or exotic creatures using some form of puppetry (as in THE LION KING) or dressing actors in animal costumes (CATS). But here, given that our premise is inside-out, we invert the equation: The animals are human and it is the humans that are exotic.
Thus, we present the humans in a heightened form of dress and scale so as to appear larger than life as they would seem from a dogs point of view, says Director Jerry Zaks. As for the lovable Dalmatians, they 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.
Theatrical wizardry aside, audiences will want to see THE 101 DALMATIANS MUSICAL because its a classic tale, Zaks believes. Children ripped away from their parents by a force of evil is frightening. How do the parents find their children and rescue them? Their reunion will be cause for rejoicing, and will enchant and mesmerize audiences of kids and grown-ups alike.
THE 101 DALMATIANS MUSICAL is a Broadway show that kids and adults can enjoy together a perfect family event! As an added surprise, the creators promise a special ending with real Dalmatians, in a one-of-a-kind Broadway musical finale that will leave everyone cheering.