Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Woodbridge Senior High School Seussical, the Musical

By • Apr 27th, 2011 • Category: Cappies

“Oh the thinks you can think when you think about Seuss.” From McElligot’s pool, to The Circus McGurkus, to Solla Sollew, the make-believe lands of Dr. Seuss were all brought to life in Woodbridge Senior High School’s joyful production of Seussical, the Musical.

With music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Flaherty and Ahrens, Seussical, the Musical combines elements from nineteen different Dr. Seuss books. While the Broadway production in 2000 was short lived, the musical has gained regional and children’s theater success throughout the United States. The plot centers around Horton the elephant, who discovers the tiny people of Whoville on the speck of a clover. Both JoJo, the Whoville mayor’s son, and Horton speak out and are put down for their differences from the rest of their communities. Horton must deal with ridicule from his peers and try to protect Whoville while the Cat in the Hat narrates and guides the story along, creating mischief and conflict.

From happy, whimsical songs such as “Oh the Thinks You Can Think,” to touching ballads like “Alone in the Universe,” the highly enthusiastic ensemble demonstrated superlative vocal ability, harmony, and range. The orchestra handled the lengthy score with ease, moving the show smoothly from number to number.

Brittany Carpenter gave a thoroughly enjoyable and energetic performance as The Cat in the Hat. She showed impressive singing skill and audience interaction, even stealing the conductor’s baton and leading a chase through the entire set. Also notable was JoJo, the mayor of Whoville’s son, played by Jordan Frederick. Adding a lisp to her voice, Frederick portrayed a young innocent boy, twirling all around and connecting believably with her stage parents (Justin Janke and Karen Kimberlin) and with Horton.

One especially notable performance was given by Mayzie La Bird (Kelli Hutchison). Hutchison demonstrated adept belting and vocal skills, believable facial expressions, and strong dance ability, fitting well with her character’s star-studded nature. Gertrude McFuzz (Casey Young), hopelessly in love with clueless Horton, was also commendable, singing with rich tone and clear diction.

The Wickersham Brothers (De’Vante Allen, Jay-Michael Wilson, and Cristian Yanez), decked out in leather jackets and sunglasses, brought synchronized dance movements and an overall groovy nature to their characters. Mayzie’s Bird girls (Dana Orr, Kaitlyn Rhyne, Martha Sanchez, Zoe Sellers, Renee Sogueco, and Ashli Yerby) all held complex harmonies with ease, working nicely as an ensemble, while bringing individuality to each of their personalities. Notable dancers included the two Tumblers (Melissa Reading and Joey Sandy), handling difficult acrobatic movements with grace and poise.

Despite the use of numerous microphones, sound cues and execution were good. Costumes fit the light-hearted nature of the show, providing cohesiveness within ensembles. Set pieces, including a fully functional slide, were delightfully colorful, adding positively to the overall presentation.

Despite a few blank faces and occasional voice projection issues, the cast and crew of Seussical, the Musical handled the vocal-heavy show with zeal and confidence. Their highly cheerful and animated production whisked audiences away to the colorful lands of Seuss, where “anything’s possible.”

by Jamie Joeyen-Waldorf of Langley High School

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