‘101 Dalmatians’ Musical Goes On Official Tour

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A person with black and white hair in a Cruella de Vil style, wearing sunglasses and a white fur coat, holds a Dalmatian puppy. Surrounding them are three animated Dalmatians from "101 Dalmatians" and another character from the classic 101 Dalmatians animation. Black spots fill the background.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Given that many of Disney’s highest-performing movies are also musicals, it makes perfect sense that several of the studio’s animated masterpieces have made it to the stage in award-winning productions. Now, Cruella De Vil takes center stage as 101 Dalmatians The Musical goes on tour.

A woman with striking black and white hair, bright red lipstick, and a joyful expression holds a Dalmatian puppy. The background is red with black spots, reminiscent of 101 Dalmatians. She is wearing a white fur coat.
Credit: WhatsOnStage

What began with the award-winning adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (1991) soon led to other Disney movies such as The Lion King (1994)The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Tarzan (1999), and even Frozen (2013) soon strode across the Broadway stage. A new production inspired by 101 Dalmatians is ready to roll out this summer.

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While Cruella might have most recently made headlines in the live-action Emma Stone portrayal, nearly any seasoned movie-goer is familiar with Disney’s animated version from 1961. Although the original animated feature is perhaps the most famous adaptation of the novel by Dodie Smith, it’s not exactly a musical. So, how will it transition to the stage?

101 Dalmatians Tours UK and Ireland

Two performers, each holding black gloves, expertly manipulate life-sized Dalmatian dog puppets covered in white fur with black spots, reminiscent of 101 Dalmatians. The background features a red curtain. Another performer is visible in the distance.
Credit: WhatsOnStage

Although Disney’s variants might be the version everyone is familiar with, a brand-new musical adaptation is set to begin its UK tour this June. The production’s official site made the following announcement.

“When fashionista Cruella de Vil plots to swipe all the Dalmatian puppies in town to create her fabulous new fur coat, there’s trouble ahead for Pongo and Perdi and their litter of adorable, tail-wagging young pups.”

“Dodie Smith’s classic canine caper is brought to life on stage with spectacular puppetry, show-stopping choreography, witty songs, and irresistible puppies!”

“This dazzling new musical is written by Douglas Hodge (music and lyrics) and Johnny McKnight (book), from a stage adaptation by Zinnie Harris.”

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Seeing a familiar story get a musical adaptation isn’t something particularly new, especially when Disney is involved. After all, the House of Mouse might have the most famous version of Cinderella, but not the most famous version on stage. However, this version of Cruella DeVil’s canine caper might not be the version everyone is familiar with.

Old Dogs, New Tricks

A large group of animated Dalmatian puppies with black spots, reminiscent of *101 Dalmatians*, are gathered together in a dimly lit barn. Some puppies have unique spot patterns, and they appear to be looking in various directions with curious expressions, their red collars gleaming faintly.
Credit: D23

While everyone might know about Disney’s animated version or even the live-action remake featuring Glen Close as Cruella De Vil, 101 Dalmatians began life as a mystery novel by British author Dodie Smith. It was Walt Disney’s penpal relationship with Smith that brought her book to life in 1961 and soon made Pongo, Perdita, and Cruella household names.

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Disney might have given the book a bigger spot in pop culture (pun totally intended), but the new musical seems to be based more on the original book than the animated film or even Cruella’s solo outing. Judging by the characters on the cast list (seen here), Cruella, Horace, Jasper, Perdita, and Pongo seem to be the only holdovers from Walt Disney’s original adaptation.

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No matter where this new variant draws its inspiration, it certainly looks like the production will breathe new life into a familiar classic. The new musical features Kym Marsh and Faye Tozer alternating in the lead role of Cruella De Vil and opens on the UK theatre circuit on June 22, 2024, at the New Wimbledon Theater. Hopefully, the show will leave audiences howling for more.

Would you see a musical version of 101 Dalmatians? Let Inside the Magic Know in the comments down below! 


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