Is there an antagonist crueler than Cruella De Vil? Probably. But she's near the top of that list. She wears puppy skins, for goodness' sake! And that was a faux pas even in 1957, when the story debuted. Since then, 101 Dalmatians has romped its way through 40 years' worth of media: an animated cartoon, a live-action movie and, now, a musical. And if you think you've already seen all of these dogs' tricks, you're wrong. Bringing the story to the stage in musical form required some innovative tweaking. For example, the dogs are portrayed by humans. And the human characters are really, really big humans. Scale, costuming and stage design work together to help the audience experience a dog's-eye-view. It's a dog's world, and we are just living in it for a few hours. But in this story anyway, it's a world that humans can aspire to. A world in which a family bands together to rescue their own and save others in the process. The 101 Dalmatians Musical opens Tuesday and runs 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays through December 20 (with 2 p.m. matinees on select Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays) at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. Tickets are $15 to $65. Call 214-421-5678 or visit dallassummermusicals.org.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Dec. 20, 2009