McNicholas High School theater will perform Seussical the Musical April 11-13 at the Anderson Towne Center. According to director Teresa De Zarn, it is “a musical compilation” of Dr. Seuss storylines by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
Seussical’s characters are pulled from many of Dr. Seuss’s well-loved and known stories, but it mainly centers on Horton Hears a Who! “The musical has a message focused around friendship and integrity,” De Zarn added.
Auditions for the play started in late February, and rehearsals started very quickly after, for two hours six days a week. “[The student actors] seem very excited!” De Zarn said. “There’s probably a little bit of nerves involved, but after they start seeing their characters solidify, they’re going to be really confident.”
Sophomore Andy Farmer (Horton) and seniors Matt Pryor (The Cat in the Hat) and Elyse Thaman (Gertrude McFuzz) lead the cast as three of the eight principle roles. Rounding out the leads include senior Haley Kohl (Sour Kangaroo), junior Casey Kuhlman (Mayzie La Bird), senior Ellie White (Mrs. Mayor), sophomore Gavin Duffy (Mr. Mayor), junior Allie Hart (Jojo).
“[Horton the Elephant] is the main character in the Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who, and the storyline for Horton Hears a Who is the basis of Seussical. In the book, Horton hears a small voice calling for help and finds the Whos, who are microscopic people who live on a speck of dust. He protects them while other people think he’s crazy for thinking a person is on a speck of dust,” Farmer said. This is Farmer’s first McNick production as a cast member. “I’ve wanted to get involved in musical theatre for years, but other extracurricular activities have gotten in the way. This year I’ve decided to prioritize theatre and try something new while I still have the option,” Farmer said.
Pryor said his character of The Cat in the Hat “is a mischievous character who leads Jojo into this imaginary world and encourages her to use her ‘thinks’ even though it is frowned upon by her parents and those around her.” Pryor is a first year theater student as well, this being his second production but his first musical. “It is an extremely fun production. The set is very colorful and exciting and there are so many fun props that are used. The musical numbers are crazy and electrifying and have been so much fun to sing and dance to. My fellow cast members and I have had a blast putting on this production.”
Thaman plays Getrude McFuzz, from Gertrude McFuzz. “Gertrude is a bird in the jungle of Nool and is dissatisfied with having just one feather as a tail. She’s hopelessly in love with Horton the Elephant, and thinks that if she changes her appearance it will impress him. Whether or not this succeeds is another story.” Thaman said. Thaman became involved in the theater department in her sophomore year, but theater has been a part of her life since her childhood. “I’ve tried to have at least some hand in as many productions as possible, working backstage, makeup, helping paint sets, and of course, performing in a few,” Thaman said. “I love musicals, and Dr. Seuss was an integral part of my childhood. I made my dad read Green Eggs and Ham to me all the time as a kid, and made him read the Grinch – even in June.”
The times for the play are on Thurs., April 11, at 7pm. The following performances are on Fri., April 12, at 7:30pm, Sat., April 13, at 2pm, and 7:30pm. Online tickets are available here. All tickets are $12.