Do you think a town of tiny Who folk could exist on a planet so small that it floats in the sky on a speck of dust? Do you think an elephant could nest on an egg? Could there be a chance for romance between an elephant and a bird with only one tail feather? And can a Who yopp so loudly that even the animals in the Jungle of Nool will hear? Well, if you think enough thinks, anything’s possible. At least, it is in Seussical the Musical, a magical celebration of imagination based on characters and stories from the books of Dr. Seuss.
With music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, the musical tells the story of Jojo, a little girl who thinks a lot. In fact (with some encouragement from a cat in a hat) she thinks up an adventure that brings together the creatures of Nool, and the inhabitants of Whoville in a tale that embraces elements from many of Dr. Seuss’s best loved books. These include (but are not limited to) The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Oh the Thinks You Can Think, and Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
Seussical the Musical first opened on Broadway in 2000 and has since become a popular favourite, especially with young performers and audiences, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an engaging fantasy with catchy songs that incorporate, adapt and imitate Seuss’s idiosyncratic verses set to a variety of musical styles. It appeals to young and old alike; to lovers of Seuss and to those who are new to his work. I’m not very familiar with his books, but I was accompanied by a friend who is a fan and we were both enchanted, as was the rest of the audience.
Jess Hind is to be congratulated for a highly successful directing debut, although she has plenty of experience both as a performer and backstage with GMS juniors, and it shows. The production is vibrant, imaginative and polished. The staging is simple but effective and colourful, as are the costumes, and both display some excellent artistic touches. Tyson Almond’s choreography is sharp, creative and takes full advantage of the diversity of the music. The circus segment provides an opportunity for some of the youngsters to show off their acrobatic abilities, and those kids can really bust some moves! It’s a show that gives everyone a chance to shine. All the principles do well in their roles and they have great support from the rest of the cast.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance we saw. By the end of the first half they were clapping and singing along, and by the end they were on their feet and applauding enthusiastically.
The show is only at Laycock for one week; it closes on Saturday 18 January. Tickets are available online at http://www.laycockstreettheatre.com or you can call the theatre on 4323 3233. So if you’ve been wondering if you should get along to see the show, well: what do you think?
[Image courtesy of GMS publicity. Please click on flyer to view full size]