Tommy Tune to Bring Doctor Dolittle to Broadway After Tour

Nine-time Tony Award-winner Tommy Tune, who recently rescued Doctor Doolittle from limbo, will most likely take the musical to Broadway after its national tour.

According to a Reuters article, Tune will begin rehearsals in New York on December 19th before the tour, which had come to an abrupt close in Hershey, PA this October due to lackluster sales, resumes at the Hobby Center in Houston on January 17th, 2006. It will then play a number of other theatres, including Hollywood's Pantages Theatre from February 21st through March 5th, before it lands at a Broadway theatre to be announced. While Tune is set to direct and star in the show, no other casting has been set (although Dee Hoty, Tune's co-star in The Will Rogers Follies, has been mentioned for the musical).

Based on the beloved 1976 film that starred Rex Harrison and on The Doctor Dolittle Stories by Hugh Lofting, the musical will star Tune in the title role of the veterinarian who talks to the animals (portrayed by puppets in the show). 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.

Doctor Dolittle will be produced by
Pittsburgh CLO, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Independent Presenters Network and Columbia Artists Theatricals; tour dates, casting and other information will be announced at a later date. 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.

Tune, who is known as a theatrical Renaissance man, is one of only two men to receive awards in four Tony categories: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Featured Actor and Best Choreographer. With unprecedented back-to-back wins for Best Director and Best Choreographer of a Musical in 1990 for Grand Hotel and in 1991 for The Will Rogers Follies, he also won Tonys for Seesaw (Best Featured Actor), A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine (Best Choreographer), Nine (Best Direction of a Musical), and My One and Only (Best Choreography and Best Actor in a Musical). Tune has also garnered the National Medal of Arts, eight Drama Desk Awards, two Obie Awards and two Fred Astaire Awards.

Fans can get a taste of Tune's star turn in Doctor Dolittle on Thursday, November 24th when he performs a song from the show (in all likelihood, "Talk to the Animals") on the Animal Planet float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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