These contemporary Dr. Seuss fans were heard exclaiming throughout the house as they recognized larger-than-life-sized versions of well-loved books pre-set on the stage while the area’s record November snowstorm kept them waiting for the show to begin. These included, The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who and Horton Sits on the Egg, as well as some of Seuss’ lesser known, but equally likable stories, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, McElligot’s Pool, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
At about 10:15, with many little legs growing restless in the seats, George Keating (The Cat in the Hat) crept up to the music stand waiting at center stage. And from that moment on, the magic and motion of Seussical held the crowd captivated.
To better understand how all of stories and characters are interwoven throughout this musical, a brief synopsis of Seussical, written by the Tony Award-winning Ahrens and Flaherty, may be read here.
The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences’ production of Seussical comes alive with interactive creativity explored by Director/Choreographer Rachel Rockwell. Her understanding and interpretation of Dr. Seuss’ uproariously imaginative worlds makes the show come alive. The action isn’t limited to just the stage, with explosions of color, characters living among the audience and even an occasional splash of H20 and bubbles!
Greg Hofmann (Lighting Designer) shows off his lighting prowess with a flare for fun and a poignant sensitivity that helps younger viewers realize and appropriate emotions for the plot and character situations. His work complements the spectacular costume work of designer Nancy Missimi, who has put together a cast with iconic and suggestive elements of the animals or species they are, while leaving room for audience perception and awareness to grow beyond the realm of reality–extending into the fantastical world Seuss created in his books.
Horton the Elephant, played by Michael Aaron Lindner, bumbles his way across the stage and into your heart as he remains a steadfast and loyal friend from beginning to end. His “Alone in the Universe” duet with Jojo (played on opening Saturday by Sage Harper, but double cast with Ava Morse) in particular portrays the ingenuous elephant to perfection.
Lillian Castillo as the ever hopeful and eternally waiting Gertrude McFuzz gets audience attention by making her personal misery approachable and sympathetic and not cloying.
Alexis Rogers (Sour Kangaroo) and Stephanie Binetti (Mayzie) also get their moment to make the spotlight their own as both execute standout solo numbers.
And not to applaud the narrator and sometimes silent stage director of the show, Keating (The Cat in the Hat) would be remiss. He gets the laughs that are written easily and adds many of his own personal touches to an already lively character to milk the appreciation even more.
Don’t miss this imaginative spectacle; it’s truly perfect for audiences of all ages.
“Seussical” runs most Tuesdays through Sundays at 10 am with occasional 12:30 pm performances, through December 30. Individual tickets are $17.23, with discounts available for groups of 20 or more. Parking is free. For a detailed schedule and available at all shows. More information, a detailed schedule and ticket purchase are available online here or by calling (847) 634-0200.