Friday night I was successful in getting c2cDad out of work early to join Li'l Boo and me at Madison Square Garden Theater for 101 Dalmatians the Musical. Li'l Boo was so excited to have him with us! The show didn't begin until 7 p.m., but we were treated to a private meet-and-greet beforehand with DX and Rascal, two of the real dog stars in the show. DX is a show dog, and Rascal came from Second Chances Dalmatian Rescus in Ohio - as well as many of the other dogs. All 15 of the dogs in the cast were noted in the program as in need of loving homes upon retirement from acting.
Here you can see how Li'l Boo and some of the other kids at the meet-and-greet responded to DX and Rascal the dogs:
It was fun to share the experience of 101 Dalmatians with Li'l Boo, who's only previous interaction with the movie was using his aunt's 101 Dalmatian's pillowcase as a treat whenever he's sick: a pllowcase from the '80s when my sister had a set of 101 Dalmatian sheets and her favorite stuffed animal, Patch the Dalmatian went everywhere with her. So attending the musical provided some background and more meaning for him next time we use the pillow he refers to as the "Patch the puppy pillow."
I didn't know what to expect with the musical, and I was a bit nervous that the concept of kidnapping and Cruella De Vil would be a bit too scary for Li'l Boo, so I prepped him beforehand by pulling out the pillow. I told him that the musical is about a family of puppies who are kidnapped by a crazy lady, and the mom and dad do whatever it takes to get them back safely by the end. I was worried that he would get caught up in the scary drama of Cruella De Vil, so I wanted him to know up front that the family of dogs ends up alright. Oh, and we practiced counting to 101. ;-) I must say that his favorite parts were whenever a real Dalmatian ran onto the stage, and the integration of them into the cast of humans playing dog characters was pretty dog-gone creative! (How could I not throw a dog pun into this?)
Li'l Boo was just fine - not frightened by Cruella - and clapped along with the audience during different songs like "Be A Little Bit Braver," which has stayed with us for several days now. We also can still hum Cruella's "Hot Like Me," and all parents in the audience will find themselves smirking at some of the lines in "A Perfect Family." Another blogger, @NancyHorn from MommiesWithStyle noticed that some of the songs and lyrics were composed by Dennis DeYoung, whom many remember from Styx. Sara Gettelfinger starred as Cruella De Vil, and it was interesting to see the human characters in the musical all walked on what appeared to be some kind of stilts in order to build a height difference between the people playing the Dalmatian characters (like Pongo, Missus, Perdita, etc.) so I wonder how it was to perform on those!
The 101 Dalmatians Musical is playing in NYC through April 17, 2010. Click here for tickets, and be sure to use discount code PAWS for 25% off.
Full Disclosure: I was invited to attend 101 Dalmatians Musical by MSG Entertainment and received complimentary tickets to check out the show.