Seussical delights audiences young and old

Susan Kenzie

Kind hearted elephants, conniving birds, and talking Whos took the stage at the Hamburge Theater last weekend in Benilde-St. Margaret’s first production of Seussical the Musical. If you missed the opening weekend, there are still three more chances to see the play this coming weekend. The play is “like taking ten Dr. Seuss books and shuffling all the pages together,” said Artistic Director Mr. Scott Effertz.

Seussical is packed with songs ranging from Latin to gospel, and swing to pop. This year is the first year that the orchestra played onstage with the cast. “I saw Chicago in London and the orchestra was in the middle of the stage which is partly how I got the idea,” said Mr. Effertz. Even though Seussical combines many of the Dr. Seuss books, it centers around the story of Horton the elephant. “It’s a big coincidence that the movie Horton Hears A Who just came out,” said Mr. Effertz.

Although the play centers around the story of Horton, the main character is actually the cat in the hat played by junior Zach Mahler. “The cat in the hat serves as a kind of narrator,” said Mahler. “The cat in the hat is imagined by Jojo, and I narrate all the stories that she imagines.”

The cat in the hat becomes many different characters in the play by disguising himself. “It’s really fun to be a bunch of different characters in one character but it’s a challenge to somehow make them all different distinct characters,” said Mahler.

Seussical provides room for a whole slew of different characters. Characters range from Maisy the difficult bird who makes Horton sit on her egg, to the three monkey Wickershan brothers. ” I play one of the Wickershan brothers whose goal is to cause trouble and make everything harder for Horton,” said senior P.J. Bonello.

All of the jumbled stories are imagined by Jojo, played by junior Anne Marie Hittler. “I imagine the cat in the hat who encourages me to embrace my imagination,” said Hittler. “I think at the end, the play portrays a clear message that it’s okay to have an imagination and embrace it.”