EXCLUSIVE: Dog Man, the canine-human superhero of a popular kids book series by best-selling Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey, is getting the stage musical treatment. Emmy Award winning duo Kevin Del Aguila and Brad Alexander are on board to write Dog Man: The Musical, with Jen Wineman directing and choreographing the world premiere staging for the not-for-profit TheaterWorksUSA at an Off Broadway theater this summer.
TheaterWorksUSA, in partnership with Writers House and Scholastic, have secured the rights to adapt the worldwide bestseller for the stage. The announcement was made today by TheaterWorksUSA artistic director Barbara Pasternack and managing director Michael Harrington.
Producers described Dog Man: The Musical as “a hilarious new musical based on the bestselling book series by Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey featuring a lovable crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and all hero.” The production is designed for children 6 and up.
The world premiere staging will run June 28-August 4 at Off Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre.
“I just had the honor and privilege of seeing an early workshop performance of Dog Man: The Musical and I absolutely loved it,” author Pilkey said in a statement. “I admire the talented team at TheaterWorksUSA who are best known for making literature come alive and for creating entertainment that appeals to audiences of all ages. I can’t wait for everyone to see it!”
Pilkey’s most recent book in the series, 2018’s Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild, received a 5 million copy first printing and debuted at the top of USA Today, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The series was launched two years ago under Scholastic’s Graphix imprint, and currently has more than 23 million copies in print, with translations available in more than 21 languages, according to the stage production announcement.
“We are thrilled that Dav has entrusted us to create Dog Man: The Musical,” said Pasternack. “Very few writers have been able to encourage young readers as much as Dav Pilkey has and very few theater companies have been able to inspire young theater-goers as much as TheaterWorksUSA has.”
According to Harrington, the managing director for the not-for-profit children and family-oriented TheaterWorksUSA, tickets for the show will be made available first to the organization’s donors. “Our donors do so much to help us bring live theater to more than 1.5 million young people across North America each year,” Harrington said, adding that the company has 11 touring stage productions on the road this year, including The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Pete the Cat, and Rosie Revere, Engineer.
Del Aguila (who is repped by ICM Partners) and Alexander won Daytime Emmy Awards for their writing on PBS’ Peg + Cat. They’re also teaming on the upcoming PBS series Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Pilkey’s Captain Underpants book series was purchased by DreamWorks for a 2017 feature film, and Netflix is now streaming TV series The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants.