Even those who don’t like green eggs and ham chuckle at the antics of the outrageous Dr. Seuss characters. Those characters, from 15 favorite Dr. Seuss books, will entertain audiences at Founders Green in the 29th Ave. Town Center when Seussical the Musical is performed July 10 and 11 at 7pm.
“Seussical is my favorite play,” said director Eric Peterson, a Stapleton resident. “It’s clever and the music is lovely. It’s suitable for all ages—sophisticated enough for adults but also easy to follow. Everyone reads Dr. Seuss. This play bridges the gap between audiences.”
Seussical the Musical stars a large cast—35 children and 16 adults—mostly from the Stapleton area. “It’s an opportunity for more kids to participate,” Peterson said.
“The story is 15 books woven together,” he continued. “The main characters are the Cat in the Hat and Horton the elephant. Kids will also recognize Gertrude McFuzz and the Grinch. The cat is the master of ceremonies. Horton, who takes care of the microscopic Whos, gets tricked into sitting on Mayzie La Bird’s egg.
“There’s so much music—29 songs—that it’s really like an opera. It’s quite charming.”
Peterson said the set is comprised of giant Dr. Seuss books, from which the characters emerge. The rhyming dialogue and outrageous costumes remain true to the books. “The costumes are flamboyant and colorful—just what you’d expect from Dr. Seuss. Audiences will love the costumes on Mayzie La Bird and her bird-girl backup singers.”
He said the full two-act play will be presented in under two hours, including the intermission. “We plan to end before dark.”
Dr. Seuss—Theodor Seuss Geisel—published 46 children’s books, many of which reflected his political views. According to Ron Lamothe, producer of the PBS film The Political Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who was not just about an elephant hearing tiny voices, but an allegory for America’s treatment of post-war Japan. The small country needed the support of a large country to get back on its feet after the devastation of the war, and Seuss wrote about Horton’s plight with the Who after a trip to war-torn Hiroshima. The book was dedicated to a friend of his in Japan.
Peterson’s 7-year-old twins will play Whos in the production. “The tiny young kids play the Whos because they are tiny in the books. It’s a fun visual thing.”
Abby Douglas and Maggie Rubenstein of Stapleton, both 9, are also cast as Whos. Rubenstein, a fourth-grader at Bill Roberts K-8 School, plays a cadet in the Who marching band. “We play these big weird instruments that look goofy,” she said. “I like being a cadet because most of my friends are cadets with me.”
Douglas, a fourth-grader at Swigert International School, plays Cindy Lou Who. “I’ve read a lot of the Dr. Seuss books and I watch Horton Hears a Who and The Grinch at Christmastime,” she said. “I love it because it’s so creative and fun, with lots of colors and the characters are funny.”
Seussical the Musical is Kids Theatre West’s only production this year due to Peterson’s career commitments. “I was promoted to administrator at the school where I teach [the Aspen Academy in Greenwood Village] so there isn’t as much time for KTW.”
The show is co-produced by MCA and The Three Leaches. “The Three Leaches helps with money and publicity. They do good quality stuff all over town,” Peterson said.
For more information, see the MCA Stapleton event calendar at stapletoncommunity.com