Bay Area Musicals! closes its second season with their first family friendly show, the Broadway hit musical, Seussical the Musical. Characters are incorporated from Dr. Seuss’s beloved books, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears A Who!,1958’s Miss Gertrude McFuzz, and The Cat in the Hat. You don’t have to be a Dr. Seuss fan nor bring a little one to enjoy the creativity behind this inventive musical.
The Cat in the Hat (Vinh Nguyen) is the narrator of the story introducing us to Horton (Daniel Barrington Rubio), an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that he believes is talking to him. It is in fact a community called Whoville with its residents called Whos. He immediately treats the mysterious voices with fragility placing the Whos on a clover for safekeeping. We learn about Jojo (Kennedy Williams), a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” A storyline that teaches us a valuable lesson in the right to express oneself. Horton knows what he needs to do in his heart and endures ridicule from those that surround him. In addition, Mayzie La Bird convinces Horton to care for her egg while she steps out for a little bit. That little bit turns into months.
Horton is an elephant of his word, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!” His character is one of innocence, he has no clue when he’s being taken advantage of nor how in love Gertrude McFuzz (Andrea Dennison-Laufer) is with him. She even alters her appearance to try to get his attention, believing her one little feather is the reason for Horton’s aloofness towards her presence.
The cast was wonderful especially Laufer as Getrude McFuzz. She did a good job bringing the character’s complexities to the stage, mainly her dealings with rejection and ultimately self-acceptance. Nguyen was adorable as Cat in the Hat but often the audio seemed low diminishing his strength as a lead. Overall, it was very enjoyable. Bay Area Muscials! continues to live up to its principles of bringing great and diverse shows to the bay area stage. It’s also very affordable for the quality that they produce.
Seussical will perform July 8 – August 5, 2017 at San Francisco’s Alcazar Theatre (650 Geary Street.) Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. Single tickets for regular performances range in price from $35-$65. Tickets are available now by calling 415-340-2207 or visiting www.bamsf.org.
Cast & Crew
Led by Daniel Barrington Rubio as Horton and newcomer child actress Kennedy Williams as Jojo, Seussical features an ensemble cast of Bay Area actors including, Andrea Dennison-Laufer, Ariela Morgenstern*, Vinh Nguyen, Katrina McGraw, Zac Schuman, Krista Joy Serpa, Jesse Cortez, and Jenny Angell.
Directed by Rachel Robinson, the creative team for Seussical includes music director David Aaron Brown, choreographer Matthew McCoy, scenic designer Stewart Lyle, lighting designer Cassie Barnes, stage manager Lia Metz, costume designer Ellen Howes, props designer Devon Labelle, and sound designer Julie Indelicato.
*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.