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Doctor Dolittle National Tour, with Tune and Hoty, Launches in Houston, Jan. 17

The national tour of Doctor Dolittle, headlined by Tommy Tune (who also directs) and Dee Hoty, will kick off at Houston's Hobby Center for the Performing Arts on January 17th and run through January 29th.  The Houston run will be presented by Theatre Under the Stars.

Nine-time Tony Award-winner Tune (Nine, The Will Rogers Follies, Grand Hotel) plays the title role of the veterinarian who talks to the animals, while Hoty (The Will Rogers Follies, Mamma Mia!) plays love interest Emma Fairfax. The tour will circulate the country through July.  

In addition, twelve year old newcomer Aaron Burr was handpicked by Tommy Tune to play Chee-Chee the chimpanzee, while
Joel Blum, Amanda Braddock, Jessica Leigh Brown, Kristin Dawn Calgaro, Matthew Crowle, Sandi DeGeorge, Jack Doyle, Mike Erickson, Joe Jackson, Lesley M. Klose, Scott Leiendecker, Allan Mangasser, Amanda Rose, Jonathan Sandler, Sarah Stiles, Sally Ann Swarm, Elisa Van Duyne, David F.M. Vaughn, Erin Webley, Steven Wenslawski and Jessica Wu comprise the rest of the cast.

The show, which uses puppets for its musical menagerie, is based on the beloved 1967 film that starred Rex Harrison and on The Doctor Dolittle Stories by Hugh Lofting. Lee Tannen has added revisions tailored to Tune to Leslie Bricusse's book; Bricusse (Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, Jekyll & Hyde) also penned the music and lyrics for the show. Doctor Dolittle's score includes the Academy Award-winning song "Talk to the Animals," as well as "When I Look in Your Eyes," "I've Never Seen Anything Like It" and others. There have also been reports of a possible Broadway transfer for the musical. For the tour, orchestrations are being done by Larry Blank, with dance and incidental music by Gordon Harrell.

Doctor Dolittle will be produced by
Pittsburgh CLO, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Independent Presenters Network and Columbia Artists Theatricals. Prior to Tune's involvement, the Doctor Dolittle tour had starred Tom Hewitt, Nancy Anderson, Tony Yazbeck, Ed Dixon and others. Glenn Casale directed, with Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford as choreographer.

The show, which will be choreographed by Patti Colombo (Peter Pan), will feature costumes by Ann Hould-Ward (Beauty and the Beast) and Dona Granata, with set design by Kenneth Foy (Gypsy), lights by Ken Billington (Chicago), and puppet designs by Michael Curry (The Lion King). Michael Biagi will serve as the musical director. 

Following the 2-week Houston engagement, Dr. Dolittle will play: The Buell Theater in Denver (January 31–February 12); The Pantages in Los Angeles (February 21–March 5); the Civic Theatre in San Diego (March 7–12); the Tucson Musical Hall in Tucson (March 14-19); Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa (March 21-April 2); DuPont Theatre in Wilmington (April 7-16); the Palace Theatre in Cleveland (April 18-30); Providence Performing Arts Center (May 2-7); Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh (May 9-14); the Fox Theatre in St. Louis (May 16-28); Proctor's Theater in Schenectady (May 31-June 4); DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids (June 6-11); Community Center Theater in Sacramento (June 13-25); Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, AR (June 27-July 2); and the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago (July 18-30). Additional summer and fall engagements will be announced at a later date.

Single tickets for Doctor Dolittle ($27-$87) are available to the public by phone at (713) 558-8887 or outside the Houston area at (888) 558-3882; or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office, (800 Bagby at Walker, Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm); or on-line at

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