PHILADELPHIA Charles R. Heck heard a who and figured why not when considering choices for this years musical at Indian River Central School District.
We looked at our potential cast and we thought Seussical was a good fit for the students we had for the vocal ranges and acting abilities, Mr. Heck said.
Seussical brings to life characters created by Dr. Seuss Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) ranging from the Cat in the Hat to Horton the elephant. It will be staged at the districts Theatre of the Performing Arts for three shows today and Saturday.
Many of the set pieces look like the pages out of Dr. Seuss books, said Mr. Heck, district K-12 music coordinator. Its a very colorful show.
The district is renting stage drops from a company out of Hollywood, Calif.
We have to do that every year because our stage is so much bigger than many other school stages, Mr. Heck said.
Seussical features music and lyrics by the Tony-winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who also wrote Ragtime and Once on This Island. The show ran for six months on Broadway beginning in 2000 for a total of 198 performances.
This musical is a lot different from others that weve done, said senior Dale E. Hajdasz, who plays Horton. Theres more music than there is dialog. Its pretty much music throughout the whole show, except for like two breaks.
The production will have a professional pit band led by conductor Toni Zygadlo, who will also be on piano.
The Cat in the Hat is the musicals narrator. Its played by senior Aurora L. Adams.
The cat is very mischievous, she said. Theres different problems that go on throughout the show which drives the story. Im the one who causes all of those problems.
Aurora said she uses characters as tools to tell the story. Those characters include Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many thinks, Mayzie the Bird, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and the Sour Kangaroo.
Tenth-grader Morgan R. Lightner plays the Sour Kangaroo, the musicals main antagonist.
The character is supposed to be really sassy who has an attitude, Morgan said. She doesnt like Horton the elephant very much.
Seussical is giving the students a chance to review their Dr. Seuss books. The authors works show no sign of losing new audiences. He had six books in the top 10 Nielsen BookScan list last week.
My mom had bought me all the books, Morgan said. I referred back to them, especially looking into the Sour Kangaroo to try to figure out my character, and I referred back to some of the movies based on the Dr. Seuss books.
The cast of Seussical at Indian River Central School District:
Aurora Adams as the Cat in the Hat, Kristi Ann Lapp as JoJo, Dale Hajdasz as Horton, Misty Brown as Gertrude Mcfuzz, Nikki Marshall as Mayzie, Morgan Lightner as the Sour Kangaroo, Matt DeMaio as Mr. Mayor, Joanna Hecker as Mrs. Mayor, Brian Walsh as the Grinch, Kenny Brennan as Gengus Khan Schmidt, Wayne Landreth as Vlad Vladikoff.
Bird girls: Abby Widrick, Becca Oster, Erin OBrien, Sierra Hicks, Shayla Thomas and Desi Smith.
Wickersham brothers: Xavier Ehresman, Noah Laclair, Daniel Johnson, Weston Ebbrecht, James Kessler and Joel West.
Jungle animals: Netanya Archibald, Chris Bjornstad, Rebecca Butler, Deanna Chavez, Michaela Culbertson, Amanda Gydesen, Molly Kane, Sierra Laclair, Michaela Lamont, Shelby McAlister, Tabatha Mazingo, Lauren Oh, Abbey Pedroza, Morgan Ritter, Misty Rodriguez, Megan Shimkus and Ashlee Weldon.
The Whos: Matt DeMaio, Marisa Domeyer, Shealynn Foster, Emily Goodrich, Daisy Hecker, Tyler Heflin, Maria Inserra, Jamie Kemple, Meghan Koerick, Emily Lapp, Anna Latour, Maria Miller, Katie Peck, Kayla Ruttan and Alyssa Sands.
Besides Mr. Heck, the producer, the adult staff includes theater teacher Kristie Fuller as stage director, Tricia Moore as choreographer and Phillip Dyke as technical director.