Space Dogs
Space Dogs

Space Dogs

New York, NY
A dog goes to space — with help from a top-secret Russian scientist.
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About Space Dogs

SPACE DOGS is an epic new musical that tells the mind-blowing true story of Laika and the Chief Designer — a stray dog and the top-secret Russian scientist who sent her to space during the Cold War. Written and performed by actor-musicians Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire, it is a sweeping, kaleidoscopic tale of invention, betrayal, international political intrigue, and the immortal friendship that exists between man and dog, as they journey together to the stars.

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Blast off at MCC Theater this winter with Space Dogs, a world-premiere musical about the canine companions that went with Russian astronauts to space. Get Space Dogs tickets on TodayTix.

The astronomical Space Dogs musical centers on a classified Russian scientist called the Chief Designer and Laika, a stray dog who became one of the first animals in space and the first-ever animal to orbit the Earth. The Chief Designer arranged the mission during the Cold War as a test experiment that was fated from the start. While Laika’s mission was pivotal to the future of space travel, she was not expected to survive. In between the day she was rescued from the street and her death, a story unfolded about the bond between the dog and the Designer, developed as they literally shot for the stars together.

Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire wrote and star in Space Dogs off Broadway. Hughes has previously appeared on Broadway in American Idiot, Spring Awakening, 9 to 5 and Hairspray. Blaemire has appeared in the 2011 Broadway revival of Godspell and the 2019 national tour of Falsettos, among other credits. Both are also composers — Hughes mainly of film scores and the Off-Broadway musical Burn All Night, and Blaemire of the 2008 musical Glory Days — and Space Dogs marks their first professional collaboration with each other and director Ellie Heyman.

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What to Watch For

  • Do you know your Cyrillic language? Space Dogs translates to космические собаки in Russian, or kosmicheskiye sobaki in the Latin alphabet. The name of the dog, Laika, is spelled Лайка in Cyrillic!
  • The Space Dogs musical shares its name with a 2010 Russian animated film. That movie, however, is about the dogs Belka and Strelka, the first animals to survive a trip to space. They did so three years after Laika’s 1957 trip.
  • Laika, however, has inspired a lot of pop culture herself. There's a graphic novel called Laika that won the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, a 2017 Czech film called Lajka, and the 1985 Swedish film My Life as a Dog, in which she isn’t shown but mentioned often. Arcade Fire also mentions Laika in a song from their debut album, and she appears in two Doctor Who spinoff stories!
  • In summer 2021, Hughes and Blaemire first developed Space Dogs as part of MCC Theater’s SongLabs series, which was streamed virtually for audiences. The 27-minute version of the show was performed with puppets, a green screen, animation, and guitars! You’ll have to see whether all that made it into the live production.
  • Hughes and Blaemire also released a music video for a song from the show called “Space Dogs of the Cosmodrome.” Listen for it during the show!
Run time

90 Mins (No Intermission)

Start date

January 25th, 2022

End date

March 20th, 2022




The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space


Ages 16+


Tickets are not currently available. Set an alert and we'll tell you when more tickets go on sale.

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