The 101 Dalmatians Musical Closing (Theater and Galleries) New Review (Theater and Comedy) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 28 2010

The program credits B.T. McNicholl and Dennis DeYoung with creating this live musical version of the 1961 animated cartoon, about a family of good-hearted dogs who run afoul of the murderous Cruella De Vil. But, really, it's pure Disney: tightly packed with clever theatrical ideas, inventive visual delights (colorful costumes by Robert Morgan and a set design by Heidi Ettinger that makes every scene look like a page from a well-art-directed children's book), and clever new twists on old ideas. I picture committees of perky imagineers reviewing every detail of the familiar story, carefully muting artistic individuality (DeYoung's ear-pleasing tunes never sounded less Styx-like), and tweaking, tweaking, tweaking to make the whole thing faster, brighter, shallower, more pleasing to a child's palate. The cast includes a pack of real dalmatians and an army of energetic, triple-threat kids--the adult humans onstage don't stand a chance. My dog-loving nine-year-old left the show in an altered state. --Jack Helbig

Price: $18-$85

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