SEUSSICAL Opens 11/14 at Imagination Stage

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SEUSSICAL Opens 11/14 at Imagination Stage

Seussical is described as  a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza written by Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who also wrote the hits Ragtime and Once On This Island. The two have lovingly brought to life all of the favorite Dr. Seuss characters from a host of the author's most popular books.

Seussical runs in Imagination Stage's Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre November 14, 2012, through January 6, 2013. Best for ages 4-12, tickets are $12 to $25, and may be purchased online at www.imaginationstage.org, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301?280?1660. Group rates are available.

"Seussical is one of our all-time favorite shows at Imagination Stage," shares Artistic Director Janet Stanford. "The stories of Horton the Elephant and Gertrude McFuzz intertwine in a world full of Dr. Seuss' whimsical characters. And the themes about loyalty and altruism seem especially poignant for the Holiday season."

Seussical was previously performed at Imagination Stage in 2005. However, this new production will turn audience members into the residents of Whoville. Stanford explains, "My goal with this production is to get the whole audience in the act. There will be a dozen or so people actually seated on stage who will participate as the chorus of Whoville residents or as judges at Horton's trial. It's going to be a very festive time of year in the Jungle of Nool at Imagination Stage and we hope that the whole community will want to party with us."

In Seussical, the Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant that discovers a speck of dust containing a village of Whos, including JoJo, a young child sent off to military school for thinking too many "thinks." Horton faces a double challenge – not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping, and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Some of the characters fall in love, some have desperate adventures, and some even save the world. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.

Stanford, who will be directing, has lined up a large cast to bring the characters of Dr. Seuss to life. Matt Anderson plays Horton the Elephant. Anderson has been seen at Imagination Stage in Busytown and Miss Nelson Is Missing, and most recently performed in 1776 at Ford's Theatre. Newcomer Shayna Blass will fly into the role of Gertrude McFuzz. Shayna recently graduated from American University with a BA in Musical Theatre and has previously performed with Keegan Theatre. Playing Mayzie will be Kirstin Riegler. Kirstin will also be making her Imagination Stage debut and has previously acted at Signature Theatre and Toby's Dinner Theatre. Ayana Hardy will be Sour Kangaroo. Ayana was seen at Imagination Stage in The Dancing Princesses. Jamie Smithson brings the Cat in the Hat to life. A newcomer to the area, Jamie has previously performed at the Guthrie Theatre and Charleston Stage Company. The cast is rounded out by Marieke Georgiadis (Bird Girl), Jamie Ogden (Bird Girl/Mayor's Wife), Matthew DeLorenzo (Wickersham Brother), and Chris Wilson (Wickersham Brother). Casting for JoJo* and Mr. Mayor has not yet been announced.

The remainder of the creative team includes Music Director George Fulginiti-Shakar, Set Designer Tom Donahue, Costume Designer Frank Labovitz, Lighting Designer Catherine Girardi, and Sound Designer Christopher Baine.

*NOTE: For those interested in auditioning for the role of JoJo, Imagination Stage is looking for boys and girls 7-12 years old with on-stage experience. JoJo is a "Thinker" – a smart, somewhat awkward child with a wild imagination. Auditions will take place this month. Contact audition@imaginationstage.org for information or and appointment.

Seussical
Based on the works of Dr. Seuss; Music by Stephen Flaherty; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty; Co-conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Eric Idle; Directed by Janet Stanford
November 14, 2012 – January 6, 2013
Show Schedule:
· Public performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm
· Tuesday?Friday field trip performances
· Special Friday Night performance on November 30 at 7 pm
Tickets: $12 ? $25; best for ages 4?12

Special Opportunities:
· $10 preview performance (most seats) on November 17 at 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm
· ASL interpreted performance: December 2 at 4 pm
· Purchase onstage seating! Call the box office at 301-280-1660 for more information.

The 2012?13 season's shows include P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical (Sept. 29 – Oct. 18), Seussical (Nov. 14 – Jan. 6), Anime Momotaro (Jan. 30 – March 10), James and the Giant Peach (April 3 – May 26), The Magic Finger (April 12 – May 24), and Peter Pan and Wendy (June 26 – Aug. 11). Subscriptions are now available at 301?280?1660 or www.imaginationstage.org. Individual tickets go on sale on August 20.

Imagination Stage
Located at: 4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Parking: Metered parking in the adjacent public parking garage; parking is FREE on weekends
Metro: Red Line / Bethesda Station
For Information: 301?280?1660 or www.imaginationstage.org.

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