I had the privilege this evening of attending Carl Junction High School’s musical, Seussical. I enjoyed the lively and colorful production with my daughter Elissa, grandson Dayan and his girlfriend, Elly. We sat near the front, and settled back as the lights dimmed, ready to be entertained.
Seussical is a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty based on the books of Dr. Seuss, primarily “Horton Hears a Who!”, “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz”. The musical debuted on Broadway in 2000. The play’s story is an amalgamation of several of Seuss’s most famous books. After a Broadway run, the production birthed two US national tours and a UK tour. It has become a beloved classic for schools, communities and regional theatres to perform.
The Carl Junction HS Theatre production starred Shelby Bryant as the Cat in the Hat, Cade Hensley as Jojo, the young boy on the dust speck planet of Who, Jarrett Little and Tiffany Durbin as his parents, Alec Huffman as Horton the Elephant, Sophia Day as Gertrude McFuzz, Megan Richins as Mayzie LaBird and Katheyn Martinez as Sour Kangaroo. There was also a talented host of supporting cast members, an amazing production team and a live orchestra.
This was a fun musical, incorporating familiar characters from the whimsical rhyming tales of Dr. Seuss. The sets and costumes were brilliantly colored, and a trampoline was cleverly hidden in the midst of the set. The characters made full use of it, expertly bouncing across its surface.
While I was impressed and highly entertained by the entire cast, there were stand out performances by Shelby, as that odd Cat in the red striped Hat, and Alec, who played a soulful Horton the Elephant. Sophia was a delightful Gertrude McFuzz, who loved Horton and longed to be noticed by him. And I enjoyed Tiffany and Jarret as the Mayor and his wife, parents to Jojo.
I was absolutely wowed by the singing ability of Kathryn as Sour Kangaroo and Megan as Mayzie. Megan is a friend of Dayan’s and I got to know her better earlier this year when she attended the Phantom of the Opera musical with us in Tulsa. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be in the audience tonight for her performance.
I’m ever amazed at the abilities of these high school kids. I like seeing creativity expressed well, with passion and obvious enthusiasm. Carl Junction High School’s theatre department consistently delivers high quality productions. I look forward to the next musical!