Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Doctor Dolittle Brings a Menagerie of Animal Magic to Academy of Music September 21
August 3, 2005

First American Tour Promises to Delight Audiences of All Ages!

Production Launches 2005-06 Kimmel Center Presents Broadway at the Academy Theater Season

Tickets On Sale August 15!

Straight from the horse’s mouth, it’s an American premiere! Doctor Dolittle , an extraordinary new musical based on Leslie Bricusse’s 1967 Oscar-winning movie, will make its Philadelphia debut Sept. 21 at the Academy of Music. This fun-filled family musical will charm audiences of all ages through Sept. 25. The production marks the first of the 2005-2006 Kimmel Center Presents Broadway at the Academy theater season.

Ticket prices range from $25 to $75, with a very limited number of $90 box seats. Performances include Wednesday and Thursday evenings (Sept. 21 & 22) at 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday evenings (Sept. 23 & 24) at 8:00 pm; matinee performances on Thursday (Sept. 22) and Saturday (Sept. 24) at 2:00 pm; Sunday (Sept. 25) at 1:00 pm and Sunday evening at 6:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased beginning August 15 by calling 215-731-3333, online at, at the Kimmel Center box office (open daily 10 am to 6 pm and later on performance evenings) or the Academy of Music box office on performance afternoons and evenings only.

Ticket buyers will be welcomed by a menagerie of live animals on August 15 between 10 am & 12 noon at the main entrance to the Kimmel Center on Broad & Spruce Streets. The Academy of Natural Sciences will have a collection of creatures on hand including mammals, birds and reptiles.

In addition, audiences will have the opportunity to take advantage of Doctor Dolittle -themed dinners prior to designated performances during the engagement. Cuisine will be ‘animal-themed’ in the beautiful Academy of Music ballroom. Cost is $29 and will include menu items such as ‘Fly the Coop’ chicken fingers; ‘Tour the Barn Yard’ grilled steak; ‘Bark Up a Storm’ hot dogs; and of course, Animal Crackers for dessert. For reservations and more information call 215-731-3333.

This awe-inspiring production features a book, music and lyrics written by Leslie Bricusse , a writer-composer-lyricist who has contributed to numerous musicals and movies during his career. The show’s charming and witty score is the cat’s meow, and features the Academy Award-winning song “Talk to the Animals” and a flock of other tuneful delights, including “When I Look in Your Eyes” and “I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It.”

Directed by Glenn Casale ( Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby), Doctor Dolittle is choreographed by Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie), features costumes by Ann Hould-Ward (Beauty and the Beast ), has set design by Kenneth Foy (Gypsy ), lights by Ken Billington ( Chicago ), orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg ( Little Women ), and animal designs by Michael Curry (The Lion King).

Stunning special effects create the fantastic world of renowned veterinarian Doctor Dolittle , whose ability to “talk to the animals” takes audiences on one extraordinary adventure after another. Michael Curry’s animal designs are comprised of different styles of puppetry, including actors playing fully realized animals, hand puppets, marionettes and enormous flying animals.

In Doctor Dolittle , the small town of Puddleby, England finds itself in the middle of the most sensational trial of the century, as noted eccentric, Doctor John Dolittle, stands accused of murder. Insisting that he can actually talk to the animals, the doctor defends himself against charges that he threw an unknown woman off a cliff to her death. With only his faithful parrot, Polynesia (the finest animal linguist in the world), a devoted friend, Matthew Mugg, an innocent boy, Tommy, and a menagerie of animals to support his story, the good doctor tries to convince the court, led by his arch-enemy General Bellowes, that he did not murder anyone. As Doctor Dolittle tells his story to the court, we encounter a myriad of other colorful characters including Emma Fairfax, General Bellowes’ outspoken niece, Albert Blossom, the proprietor of a local circus and a host of hilarious animals who have turned to Dolittle for some form of assistance.

This whimsical tale first wowed audiences in the critically acclaimed 1967 movie starring Rex Harrison. Its dynamic score and remarkable special effects earned it an Oscar for Best Song and Best Special Effects, and an impressive 8 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture; Best Cinematography; Best Adaptation; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration; Best Film Editing; Best Sound and Best Original Music Score.

The First American Tour of Doctor Dolittle is produced by Pittsburgh CLO, Columbia Artists Theatricals and The Nederlander Organization.

Broadway at the Academy 2005-2006 subscription packages are on sale now and will feature four spectacular family musicals including Doctor Dolittle (Sept. 21 – 25); Annie (Nov. 22 – 27); Wicked (beginning March 22, 2006); and The Lion King (beginning June 8, 2006) An additional show, The Beatles Experience performed by RAIN (Jan. 19 & 20, 2006), is also available to subscribers.

All performances of 2005-2006 Kimmel Center Presents Broadway at the Academy are supported by the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Broadway at the Academy.

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