The celebrated books and beloved characters of Theodor Geisel (more famously known as Dr. Seuss) come alive on the Fauquier Community Theatre stage weekends through Sept. 15, in a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza. These classic, colorful tales that are loved by millions of children -- and also former children -- are seamlessly brought together by all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, The Cat in the Hat and all of the Whos of Whoville.
The musical is a mashup of the Dr. Seuss classics, centering especially on two: "Horton Hears a Who" and "Horton Hatches the Egg," and dropping in characters from at least 15 other books. Thirty-plus cast members bring them to life through song and dance.
The performance starts off with the song “Oh, The Thinks You Can Think,” that introduces Bevin Hester as the Cat in the Hat and defines the principals. Bevin is a real hoot and proves a vivacious, loveable narrator. We also meet the main character, Horton, the loyal and lovable elephant (Peter Marsh). As the story goes, Horton finds a speck of dust, places it in a clover and discovers that the speck houses Whoville, a village of tiny people in distress. No one else can hear them, and Horton suffers ridicule, especially from the bright and sassy Sour Kangaroo (Ashley Williams).
JJ Calavas shines as Jojo, who is a Who citizen. He captures how tough being different can be, showing great courage in following his own path.
Along the way, Horton is duped into "temporarily" babysitting the egg of a selfish lazy bird named Mayzie (Kenzie VanDerwerker - playing fun-loving and sassy Mayzie perfectly), who then bustles off to Palm Beach for an extended vacation. The trio of Seussian lady birds (Helen Messick, Erica Davies, and Isabella McDonald) follow Mayzie and Gertrude around and delight the audience wherever they go.
Horton hatches Mayzie’s egg, rescues his pint-sized pals and ends up with lovesick bird Gertrude McFuzz (the lovely and talented Abby Dahl). You see that nobody actually believes Horton hears the Who and it seems everyone wants to put him away in a looney bin. The Wickersham Brothers (Frankie Williams, Scott Pierce and Cary Reese), a gang of mockering monkeys, delight in making trouble for Horton.
As each story unfolds you will marvel at how relevant and profound Seuss’s subtle themes are; making this musical one that appeals to all ages.
The set is designed by Alanna Mensing and constructed to facilitate many complex choreographic high-kicks.
The costumes, co-designed by Amber Kiffney, Micki Lindquist and Teena Stevic, are bright, delightful, and colorful and certainly add to the vibrancy of the Seuss imagination and creativity.
This is a show that celebrates friendship and community as much as the power of the individual imagination. It also teaches the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs.
Dr. Seuss would be thrilled.
FCT’s production of "Seussical The Musical" is directed by Betsy Hansen, produced by Brooke Lyn Clark, sponsored by Discovery Publications, and presented by special arrangement with MTI, Intl. The nine performances will be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 15.