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Hewitt and Anderson Cast in Touring Dr. Doolittle

Casting is now complete for the Pittsburgh CLO's upcoming touring production of Doctor Doolittle, which will begin its nationwide journey at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh from August 2nd to 14th.

Tom Hewitt (The Rocky Horror Show, Dracula) has won the plum title role of the doctor who talks to the animals, while Nancy Anderson  (Wonderful Town, Kiss Me, Kate) has been cast as Emma Fairfax/Fox, his love interest.  Rounding out the principal roles are Tony Yazbeck (Gypsy) as Matthew Mug, Ed Dixon (Les Misérables, The Iceman Cometh ) as Albert Blossom, Eric Michael Gillett as General Bellows/Straight Arrow; Shadoe Alan Brandt as Tommy Stubbins/Duck and Susan J. Jacks as Polynesia.  With a full cast of 26, the show's rehearsals began on June 28th in New York City.  Leslie Bricusse, who penned Doctor Doolittle's book, music and lyrics, will be on hand for the show's tech rehearsals in Kentucky.

The tour will mark the American premiere of the show, which previously was staged in London; numerous changes have been made from shore to shore.  The creators have also created a somewhat darker world than that portrayed in the film, with the show opening on the title character's trial--for murder. Glenn Casale (Peter Pan) will direct, with Scott Ellis (She Loves Me) credited as "artistic consultant."  Tony winner Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie) has signed on for the choreography, while Disney's Michael Curry will handle the visual effects of the show, including its puppets.  Also on the creative team are Ken Billington (lighting), Kim Scharnberg (orchestrations), Michael Duff (music direction), Sam Lutfiyya  (music coordinator), David Chase (dance arranger), Paul Rubin (flying choreographer), David H. Lawrence (hair designer), Ann Hould-Ward (costumes). 

Aside from Bricusse (Jekyll and Hyde, Stop the World--I Want to Get Off), everyone on the creative staff is new to the show, which will feature its actors manipulating animal puppets in full view of the audience.  Instead of a direct translation of the well-loved movie musical that starred Rex Harrison, the creators have opted to go back to Hugh Lofting's books, drawing plot strands from a number of them.

For more information on the show, visit www.doctordolittlethemusical.com.  To learn more about the Pittsburgh CLO, visit www.pittsburgclo.org.




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