Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Seussical at Port Tobacco Sure to Please Kids of All Ages

By • Jul 12th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Seussical the Musical as performed by Port Tobacco Players [MP3 4:14 1.2MB].

Laura: This weekend we saw Seussical the Musical performed by Port Tobacco Players in La Plata, Maryland.

Mike: Seussical the Musical is a musical based on the books by Dr. Seuss. It debuted on Broadway in 2000. The play story is a combination of many of Dr. Seuss’s most famous books.

Laura: I really had a good time at the show this weekend. It was fun. There was so much energy in it that fed off into the audience. Everybody did a great job with the music and the dancing and the singing. I really had a good time.

Mike: I agree, this was a wonderful show. The set was beautiful. The singing and the dancing was incredible. Everybody worked really hard on this show and it was a success.

Laura: The featured character in this performance was The Cat in the Hat. He was played by Derek T. Pickens. He did a great job. He really got into his part. He had the bright Cat in the Hat costume that you see in many of Dr. Seuss’ books. He was even acrobatic on stage. His entrance was really creative. He had a really god singing voice, too and I enjoyed watching him feed off the audience. He really got into his part.

Mike: He had a really mischievous look about him that really worked for the Cat in the Hat character.

Laura: The role of Horton the Elephant was played by Billy Thiedeman. I liked him very much. He was very caring and very loyal to the egg he had to carry around for most of the show. He also had a few songs to sing and he sang them very well.

Mike: The main human character was JoJo played by Katie Sheldon. At the beginning of the show JoJo is wandering around and finds this funny little red and white hat. So while she’s deciding what to do with it this cat appears and says,”Hey, you can think of things to do.” All of a sudden JoJo is whisked off into the magic land of Whoville. The rest of the show, JoJo has to figure out what’s going on and why she’s always in trouble. She has to do a lot of different emotions such as anger and frustration. She gets mad at the Cat in the Hat a few times. Then at the very end has to figure out how to save Whoville. She did a really good job in the part.

Laura: The set was also really well done. It was very bright and colorful. They took a lot of the cover art from the books by Dr. Seuss and put them up on stage. It made it really colorful and it helped, I think with the energy of the show.

Mike: The set designer was John Merritt. He did a great job with the set design. He definitely deserves a hand for that. The different surfaces were very unique and showed a nice attention to detail. For example, Horton’s tree gets cut down so that he could be captured.When you come back to that scene later the tree has actually been lopped off where his branch was. That’s a nice attention to detail.

Laura: The dancing was also really spectacular. Port Tobacco Theater is fairly deep so you were able to get a lot of characters on stage at one time. They did some pretty complex dance scenes that really looked good.

Mike: The show is about two and a half hours long. There was a long intermission in the middle. There were a lot of children in the audience. Most of the children did pretty well with following the plot of the stories. Unfortunately there were some children who couldn’t so there was a lot of muttering and whispering going on at different points. So if you do take your younger child to go see this show, that’s fine of course, but you may want to read some of the stories with your child in advance. Such as Horton Hears a Who, Horton Hatches the Egg is another big part of the story. So read some of the Dr. Seuss stories with you child. That might help them visualize and understand what’s happening better.

Laura: Seussical the Musical is playing through July 30 in La Plata, Maryland. We would like to invite you to join our mailing list to get information about upcoming shows and other events. Just go to

Mike: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

One Response »

  1. Laura and Mike,

    Thanks for coming to see SEUSSICAL at PTP. We are having so much fun with this production and the members of the cast continue to pour all their energy into their parts. Thank you for the positive review…we are glad you enjoyed the show!

    I second your suggestion that parents read the books to their kids PRIOR to seeing the show because that does make watching the performance much more enjoyable for them…all the stories are fresh in their heads. As Music Director, I too, read the books several times prior to auditions and that helped immensely with casting as well.

    I’m enjoying being a member of the showbizradio mailing list and discovering what else is going on in theater in the Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland areas. Thanks for this service.

    ~Therese Thiedeman
    Music Director of Seussical at Port Tobacco Players