Archbold Community Theatre has again crafted a good show with “Seussical,” a musical based on the works of Theodor Geisel, who wrote children’s books under the pen name, Dr. Seuss.
The show has a lot of content for kids, but at the same time, adults will see some real-life situations and characters play out before their lives.
There’s a lot of music and action that holds the attention, but there also are moments of meaningful dialogue as well.
Lauren Zehr, a Wauseon native attending Eastern Mennonite University, steals the show as the Cat in the Hat, the narrator and storyteller of the musical. Rather than simply walking around the stage, Zehr’s Cat crawls, slinks, and prowls.
She infuses her character with some cat-like qualities, as she gets into all kinds of mischief. At times, she wanders through the audience and makes a mess of the pit orchestra director’s sheet music, among other antics. She is fun to watch.
Caprianna Parrish makes a big noise as Mayzie La Bird. The irresponsible party-girl bird belts out her songs and dances with grace.
Offsetting Mayzie is Myah Shaffer as Gertrude McFuzz, the plain bird-next door who laments that her one tail feather doesn’t attract any attention, especially compared with Mayzie’s amazing plumage.
Shaffer, a UT student, plays Gertrude perfectly, especially through her “identity crisis” after she visits a special doctor for more tail feathers. After getting her feathers, she questions whether they’re really right for her after all.
Matt Richardson plays the central role of Horton, the elephant who hears the Whos, the tiny race of people who live on a speck of dust on a flower. His singing and dialogue is crisp and clear.
You feel for Richardson’s Horton as he is bullied by monkeys who take his precious flower.
At 13, Wyatt Short, West Unity, who plays JoJo, another one of the central characters, is already an ACT vet. He does an excellent job with his character.
ACT produces another one of its amazing sets, and shows off stage skills with a couple of really interesting effects.
If there’s one thing ACT has trouble with, it’s sound. Sound must be the most diffi cult part of a stage musical. The people on the audio board must mix the singers, which they control, with the pit orchestra, which they don’t.
In the end, the big numbers in “Seussical” end up just big and loud. The audience can’t really discern what the characters are singing.
Sometimes, the audience needs to hear what the characters sing so it can keep track of the plot.
Never the less, “Seussical” is a fun way to spend an evening, and deserves your attention.
ACT will present “Seussical” at Archbold High School Friday and Saturday, July 23-24, at 8 pm, and Sunday, July 25, at 2:30 pm.–David Pugh
It was once customary to bake a cake with a bean in it on January 6th. Whoever got the slice with the bean was believed to have good luck all the rest of the year.