“Dogman: The Musical” is making its way from an off-broadway theatre and will be performed by the East Carolina University Family Fare Series Friday night at 7 in the Wright Auditorium.
According to the ECU events information page, the musical is based on the best-selling series by Dav Pilkey, who also wrote Captain Underpants. It features the characters of George and Harold who are 5th graders challenging themselves to write a musical by the end of lunch. George and Harold decide to choose their favorite character, Dogman who’s part dog and part man. This makes him into the crime-fitting policeman Dogman is.
Associate Dean of Research, Marketing and Outreach for the College of Fine Arts and Communication and producing artistic director of “Dogman: The Musical,” Michael Crane, said he believes the musical’s unique set and costume design will grab the audience's attention.
“(The musical) is fast paced, it’s quirky, the costumes are nicely visual, tones of color (and) tones of changes,” Crane said. “It’s got all the key elements you need for a good story.”
The musical is also part of a series at ECU called Art Smart which includes performances during the morning for elementary school field trips and caters to kids grades kindergarten through fifth grade. During the evening is when the series will switch over to Family Fare, which is open to the public, according to Crane.
Crane said the purpose of the Art Smart series was to give children the opportunity to witness their favorite literature on stage.
“Our mission for Art Smart is to present literature based titles that are top quality (and) professional performances,” said Crane.
The New York based company Theatre Works USA will host the performance and current member Maya Jacobson will portray the role of Little Petey. Jacobson’s character is the clone to Petey whose one of the main villains in the story.
Jacobson describes her character as a joyous kitten with a toddler attitude who loves to play and draw books. She ages her character to be around the age of three to five.
“There’s a joyous freedom in playing a child where you don’t have to think too hard, you just get to feel exactly what you’re feeling which is such a gift,” said Jacobson.
Jacobson’s character, Little Petey performs three songs throughout the musical. “The Happy Song,” “A Perfect Mashup,” which is a song in which her character interacts with Dogman about how awesome he is, and “Evil ABCs.”
Princess Victome, another member of the cast plays Flippy the Cyborg fish. Flippy is another villain Dogman faces throughout the course of the musical. Victome described the musical as being full of heart and joy and childlike imagination as well.
“My character is a little fish that unfortunately experienced bullying in school and has thus become a pretty evil little man,” Victome said when describing her character. “But he dies from hypothermia after being chased by Dogman and is dropped into a smoke-stack for ‘living spray’ and comes to life, finding himself dripping in titanium and robotic parts.”
Victome is trained in Commedia Dell-Arte and plays three different characters within the musical, her main role being Flippy. She loves that she’s been able to put her training to use by playing these different roles.
Victome said she hopes to have an impact on young girls as she’s a plus-size black woman playing an out of context gendered role.
“I hope that children seeing me on stage can spark a sense of normalization in representation and joy for little black girls to see that maybe one day they can play a ridiculous villain and lean away from stereotypes.”
Tickets for the show aren’t available yet but are being sold to the public for $15. They can be purchased online or call the number located on the events page for “Dogman: The Musical” on the ECU website.