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Kensington Arts Theatre Seussical the Musical

By • Sep 15th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
Seussical the Musical
Kensington Arts Theatre
Gaithersburg Arts Barn, Gaithersburg, MD
Through September 27th
Reviewed September 13th, 2009

I think one of the hardest things to do in the world of theatre is put up a successful kids show. Kids are brutally honest. They don’t have the patience to hang around and watch something that is boring them. So when someone achieves a successful show that keeps kids engaged and entertained it is not only a job well done, it is rewarding for everyone.

I sat in an audience filled with restless sugar filled toddlers who had not received their naps yet. All eager and curious to see what this Seussical was all about. The lights went down. And out came the character Jo Jo, a young boy, played by 11 year old Kaycie Goral, who is actually a young girl. As soon as Jo Jo came out all the kids went quiet.

Soon after, the famous Cat In The Hat, played by Ken Kemp, joined Jo Jo in a song. It was just them onstage. Then an explosion of colors, voices, and characters spring out from backstage. For such a small theatre they were able to fit in plenty of movement and dancing that made even the most restless audience member lean a little closer in wonder.

The show revolves around Horton the elephant, played by Kevin Ray Johnson, who does a great job at creating a dopy, goofy and loveable character. He and his new found friends, the “who’s,” go on an adventure trying to prove that “who’s” although small are still big thinkers, especially Jo Jo who teaches kids that thinking outside the box is a good thing. There is also some sassy singing and dancing from the colorful birds Ms. Amazing Mayzie played by Cara Marie Pellegrino and Horton’s shy love struck neighbor Gertrude McFuzz Played by Katie Mays Reedy.

The show is fun and entertaining for the older audience members as well. Beware of slow songs, especially with a pre nap audience, but luckily this show has very few and they are spread out between lively energetic songs that keep the kids engaged. Somehow the show manages to pack twenty musical numbers in with dancing and acrobatics from the mischievous Wickersham Brothers, played by Will Givens, Xiomara Mercado, and JR Russ.

Photo Gallery

Kevin Ray Johnson as Horton, Kaycie Goral as JoJo and Ken Kemp as The Cat in the Hat Gertrude (Katie Mays Reedy)
Kevin Ray Johnson as Horton, Kaycie Goral as JoJo and Ken Kemp as The Cat in the Hat
Gertrude (Katie Mays Reedy)
Cara Pellegrino as Mayzie with Jessica Berg, Rachel Meloan, Anna Zimmerman as the Bird Girls Wickersham Brothers (Will Givens, Xiomara Mercado, Nathaniel Russ, Jr.)
Cara Pellegrino as Mayzie with Jessica Berg, Rachel Meloan, Anna Zimmerman as the Bird Girls
Wickersham Brothers (Will Givens, Xiomara Mercado, Nathaniel Russ, Jr.)
Ivana Alexander as the Sour Kangaroo and Cara Pellegrino as Mayzie
Ivana Alexander as the Sour Kangaroo and Cara Pellegrino as Mayzie

Cast

  • Horton: Kevin Ray Johnson
  • Cat in the Hat: Ken Kemp
  • JoJo: Kaycie Goral
  • Gertrude: Katie Mays Reedy
  • Mayzie: Cara Pellegrino
  • Sour Kangaroo: Ivana Alexander
  • Mr. Mayor: Will Givens
  • Mrs. Mayor: Gayle Gillespie
  • The Bird Girls: Jessica Berg, Rachel Meloan, Anna Zimmerman
  • The Wickersham Brothers: Will Givens, Xiomara Mercado, JR Russ

Crew

  • Director: Heather Latiri
  • Assistant Director: Nancy Ostroth
  • Music Director: Omar Latiri
  • Producer: Donna Jean Garrett
  • Choreographer: Vanessa Terzaghi
  • Lighting Designer/Execution: Frank Desando
  • Sound Designer/Execution: Patrick Hughes
  • Set Designer: Jennifer Andrews
  • Costume Designer: Meg Williams
  • Hair and Makeup Designer: Concetta Griffo
  • Assistant Hair and Makeup Designer: Erin Hill
  • Master Carpenter: Doe B. Kim
  • Set Construction: Heather Latiri, Donna Jean Garrett, Jennifer Andrews, Doe B. Kim, Nancy Ostroth
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spent two years working in a coached ensemble called (luxurious tooth) in Chicago, and had the privilege of working with Jonathan Pitts founder of the Chicago Improv Festival. Since moving back to DC Sara has been involved in various local productions such as Hexagon's "Strike while the irony's hot" and "What so proudly we bailed" and is now Hexagon's Marketing VP. She also has performed at The Blair Mansion ("Politics is Murder," "The Day Disco Died" and "Murder is All in the Family." She is also is a comedy writer who has interned for "The Potomac Review," a literary magazine published by Montgomery College.

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