101 Dalmatians Musical at Clowes

Friday, March 19, 2010 - 
Hubby likes to (or will) entertain my love of Disney in many ways.  This past week, he joined me for the 101 Dalmatians Musical which took place at Clowes Hall on Butler University's campus.  I had bought the tickets back in the day, and to be honest, it kind of snuck up on me.  And if something sneaks up on me, hubby has no idea it is coming since I'm the walking calendar of the relationship.

We made our way to Clowes after hubby got home from work, cleaned up and we grabbed a bit to eat.  As it was a Thursday night, we figured we wouldn't be out too late as the show is definitely kid appropriate.  With tickets in hand, we visited the venue for the first time.

Poster in main lobby
We (among 40% of all those in attendance) made our way to the third floor balcony.  There is an elevator, but what's more fun than walking up three flights in heels?  While making our way to our seats while admiring the theater decor.  As Clowes is on a college campus, the shows that frequent the theater are all over the spectrum.  I appreciate that Broadway Across America does a few shows here (as they do at the Murat as well) as it makes a Thursday evening more time friendly for us Carmelites.

Though photos aren't allowed, I managed to sneak one of the stage prior to the production, thanks to cell phone technology (I love you Palm Pre) and my sneakiness.  Don't underestimate it.  

 I know, not the best shot, but work with me here.  It was a cute stage!

The show was absolutely precious.  I noticed no Disney was mentioned anywhere, so my thought of attending a Disney production was shattered (why did I not notice this prior?  I have no idea.)  I searched the Playbill only to find nothing, but overall, the show was very similar to the movie.  Characters names included, but there were a few tweaks here and there to vary it up from the Disney version. 

Since humans were playing dogs (well, most of the dogs, which you'll see why below) the actors who were the "humans" walked around on stilts!  I had heard prior to the show that this made it a little awkward, but was happy that it didn't come across that way to me at all.  Now, this could have been due to our seats being the level they were, but it worked perfectly to differentiate.  I loved the costumes of the "dogs" to show their breed.  For example, the Irish Terriers wore kilts, the Poodles wore tutu's, and of course, the Dalmatians were in white with black dots.  All the "puppies" were child actors, which was just adorable.  They even had their own scenes and songs and they did a splendid job.

My favorite part?  The REAL Dalmatians.  Right before intermission, the curtain raised (when Pongo finds all the puppies at Cruella's place) and there was at least 12 Dalmatians sitting pretty.  SO well trained, and just adorable.  Once in a while, they would have a real pup run across the stage, and this was always followed by laughter and "awww's" from the crowd.  But the best part of the real pups was at the end of the show.  It featured all of the Dalmation's (real that is) doing tricks to make Cruella's place "their own."  Pulling cords to uncover a dog house, pulling levers to reveal flowers on set, even weaving themselves through window bars...they were just precious.  I applauded with the rest of the audience for a job well done, and I knew when I got home to my pup, I would hug her a little bit harder than normal.

I mean, how could you not hug this lady?!

Overall, it was a good show.  Children would love it, and adults would appreciate it as well.  Do I wish Disney had involvement?  Absolutely.  But I wouldn't discredit the production at all as it was a job well done!