Let's talk about 'Seuss'
With larger than life colors and characters, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts production of “Seussical” is set to pounce onto the stage of The Maryland Theatre.
Based on classic Dr. Seuss children’s books, including “Horton Hears a Who!,” “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Gertrude McFuzz,” the show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, and continues April 28, and Saturdays, April 22 and 29, as well as 2:30 p.m. Sundays, April 23 and 30.
The show features music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Ahrens and Flaherty.
Barbara Ingram senior Patrick Prunty plays the Cat in the Hat, whom Patrick said is the main man.
“The Cat in the Hat is like the creator of this whole show,” he said. “He’s all fun. He doesn’t take anything serious.”
Patrick said he thinks of himself as being very similar to the Cat.
“I’m all fun. I’m not serious. He tries to see the fun in everything, and that’s exactly me,” he said.
During the play, the Cat interacts solely with inquisitive youngster JoJo, played by senior Lily Kigin. Lily agreed that the casting for the play is spot on.
“I see myself in JoJo all the time. My friends say I am JoJo,” she said. “We’re both very hyper and childlike. And we’re always big with our motions and our expressions.”
As for her character, Lily said JoJo is just himself.
“JoJo is a really hyperactive little boy. I consider him to be around 10. He loves to think and express himself because he doesn’t have that good of a home life. So, he’s exciting and out there. He sometimes doesn’t care what other people think,” she said.
Jacob Epstein plays the every optimistic and naive Horton, and also relates to his character.
“I actually think (director Ruth Ridenour) did a very good job of casting personality wise because I try to find the optimism in everything and I also try to, just like to be nice to everybody,” the senior said.
Patrick said the appeal of the show is in the song and dance.
“Everyone loves Barbara Ingram’s big musical numbers, and this whole show is just filled with big numbers,” he said. “And I think that’s going to be the big defining thing from this show.”
Jacob also said the show is larger than life.
“There are a lot of cool set pieces. A lot of flying. The monkeys swing around on a jungle gym. There’s a lot of cool visual effects. It’s just a very extravagant show,” he said.
Lily, who’s been acting since she was just 4 years old, said everyone can see the value in the play.
“I think ‘Suessical’ is a great time for the whole family to come and release some stress and just see the bright colors and the happiness that’s always on stage,” she said. “And there are ups and downs and I think it’s a lot like life. So it’s really relatable.”