Seussical

Shakenblaken
Swing
joined:4/1/12
Seussical
Posted: 4/10/12 at 09:36pm
I reciently talked to a musical producer and he told me that Seussical the musical was a flop in New York, does anyone know why the show was unsuccessful, was it the book, music, lyrics I just need the insite to why it was unsuccessful since it was geared towards kids and adults who really enjoy the Dr. Seuss stories.
blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Seussical
Posted: 4/10/12 at 09:40pm
Because it sucked. So bad that no B celebrity could save it.
Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
kidbroadway2
Leading Actor
joined:3/26/10
Seussical
Posted: 4/10/12 at 09:53pm
It was a really inventive/good idea, that just never quite got there. Too bad, it had its moments.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Seussical
Posted: 4/10/12 at 09:59pm
Interestingly enough, I found that the "jr." version is actually better because its more streamlined. (IMHO)

But yes, it just wasn't good, interesting or emotional.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Matt2
Featured Actor
joined:5/15/09
Seussical
Posted: 4/10/12 at 10:12pm
The book is a mess. They basically try to combine every Seuss story ever written add water and stir. There's a plot within a plot within a plot within a back story. The show just lumbers under the weight of all of these unnecessary characters and back stories- never becoming a cohesive whole.
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Seussical
Posted: 4/10/12 at 10:53pm
I saw the national tour with Cathy Rigby and it was an absolute disaster. It was terrible.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Seussical
Posted: 4/10/12 at 11:52pm
I thought the Cathy Rigby tour fixed a lot of the problems it had on Broadway.

I love the show. The score is one of my favorites. The book needs a lot of work.

I, too, wonder why it flopped on Broadway. It's one of the most successful licensed properties in the MTI catalog. The tour did well. The non-Eq tour did OK. Why DID it fail on Broadway? Did it truly fall victim to the bad reviews and mixed word-of-mouth? Or was it not properly produced/marketed?
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
somethingwicked
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 12:02am
Ahrens and Flaherty have spoken at length about how the original Broadway production was incredibly overproduced on every level, and that was regarded by many as its ultimate downfall.

The original workshop was done in the style of "storybook theater," with all the actors in solid colored t-shirts and sweatpants using things like blue felt to represent water, etc. That's very much what the show should have been, and that's exactly what Marcia Milgrom Dodge went back to when she directed the incredibly successful Theatreworks incarnation, which also cut the show down to ninety minutes (something Ahrens and Flaherty pushed for.)
Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
JohnyBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/12
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 12:02am
Hi new to the board but I agree with Capnhook. I love the show too. I listen to the OBC all the time. The score has some wonderful highlights (Oh the things you can think, Alone in the universe, Anything's Possible) I also loved the Rigby National Tour especially the staging of "Oh the things you can think" it was incredible to see the entire cast in that small little space.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 12:07am
Definitely check out the TYA version. It trimmed quite a bit of the unnecessary fat from the show.

Marcia Milgrom-Dodge created a wonderful production for the Off-Broadway revival back in 2007 at the Lortel. Theatreworks has been touring this production and it's definitely worth checking out should you find it in your area.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 12:33am
especially the staging of "Oh the things you can think" it was incredible to see the entire cast in that small little space

As much as I did not like the show, that part (and some other moments) was truly incredible. I remember walking into the theatre and seeing that blue curtain with the white box in the middle and having no idea what to expect, then suddenly it just came to life and expanded to fill the stage. Wish I could find a video of that part...
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 10:18am
Snooze-ical.
"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
broadway guy
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/11
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 10:18am
yeah i love seussical.Its one of my favorite shows ever.But i think the reason it flopped was because of the book.The book was a mess when it opened. You didnt really know who the focus was. was it horton,the cat,or jojo? it was kind of a mystery.

The saving grace of that show is how good the score is.The score is amazing and beautiful, it stays so faithful to Doctor seuss.The lyrics are great.solla sollew still gives me chills.

When the show opened it was kind of distorted and no matter how good the score was,the critics bashed the show for the weak book.The direction was all wrong when it opened.There were some good elements but for the most part it was sloppy.

"Ahrens and Flaherty have spoken at length about how the original Broadway production was incredibly overproduced on every level, and that was regarded by many as its ultimate downfall. "

I personally felt that the show could have been bigger. when i see videos of the broadway show i think "shoud have been grander". The opening number is in a vortex which is fine, but than its just an empty stage.
To me seussical should be a larger than life show.you are dealiing with DR.SEUSS. its a whimsical and magical world where "anything's possible". I wanted huge sets to show the jungle, i wanted the whoville to be on floating platforms,i wanted a giant cat in the hat's Hat in the beginning like they do in wicked. Or a giant skyline full of stars during solla sollew.I know that is alot to ask for but thats how i feel seussical should be.Almost like a cirque du soleil type of show but with a clear story line.

I also felt the choreography in the original show wasnt flashy enough and it didnt really feed into the point of the show.

The cathy rigby tour of the show improved it alot i thought.it was more centered and focused.Even the Junior version of the show has a more cleary centered plot focusing more on jojo as the main character as he introduces the audience to seuss instead of the cat.

I also feel the casting was a little off at some points during the duration of the run. why would someone ever cast rosie o donnel as the cat in the hat?? i love her but she isnt the cat.

Bottom line is the show has SOOO much potential to be a hit on broadway but they just need to focus it a little more. broadway dosent reallly have "awesome child show" anymore.Beauty, and mermaid are gone so i would love to see seussical come back to broadway and make a smash hit!





Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 12:23pm
I saw the Broadway production and the tour. The tour attempted to streamline the book, but it had some really awkward gaping holes in the cut-and-paste treatment it received. The tour sets were quite cheap and tacky compared to the original, especially for It's Possible with its go-cart bathtub and black-lighting fish. And after seeing the original choreography for Oh, The Thinks You Can Think, which was absolutely joyous, I detested the bland version on tour which had nothing to do with the rest of the show. Yes, the number is an isolated prologue, but having the Seuss characters perform it is what tied it into the rest of the show, especially the finale reprise.

While the Broadway production was flawed (mostly from the overstuffed book), I really enjoyed the score and much of the cast. Janine LaManna was an absolute RIOT and ran away with the show with her numbers.

I also felt the choreography in the original show wasnt flashy enough and it didnt really feed into the point of the show.

I would agree that the rest of the choreography never lived up to the opening number. Before the CD was released, that song was completely stuck in my brain as well as the "When you think about Seuuuuuuuuusss!" movement. After that, I thought I was in for a real visual treat, but the rest of the show never really reached that height again, which was disappointing.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
NoHSMisNotAMusical
Stand-by
joined:10/21/11
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 06:12pm
I agree with drammama611, the Junior version is really good, it takes out the stupid war subplot. The show wasn't meant for Broadway. It is a great for community theatres.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 06:22pm
Wasn't this one of the productions initiated at Livent and some issues were due to the collapse of that company? Or am I just making that up because some of the same team as Ragtime was involved? (I know Parade was initiated with Livent but very little actual work was done on it before they fell apart).
mikey2573
Broadway Star
joined:12/28/10
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 08:48pm
I have seen SEUSSICAL in almost every one of its incarnations. It originated in Boston with its pre-Broadway tryout, and I followed to see what changes they were making. I saw the first Boston preview, and I saw what ended up being (though it was not supposed to be) the show's final Boston performance. The show in Boston was all over the place and lacked focus. The changes that the creators made were minimal, and it needed BIG changes. I remember the first part of the first act being almost perfection. The Cat introduces us to Horton, then to Jojo. Then, in the song ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE, the to two worlds meet in a very touching way. We see these two outsiders who feel alone in their worlds and the audience is engaged and cares about them. Then, ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE ends and suddenly Gertrude the Bird enters the scene and the whole Horton/Jojo storyline (you know the one they spent the first half of Act 1 setting up??) is abandoned and we don't see Jojo again until the middle of Act 2. WHAT? Why did they set up his character and merge his story with Horton's story only to completely dispense with it?? Made no sense at all.
This problem was never fixed in Boston, but I thought it would be prior to Broadway. WRONG!!
When I saw the show on Broadway they had fixed the near perfect beginning of Act 1 (and in the process ruined it) and had left the whole second part of Act 1 (the part that needed fixing) almost exactly as it was in Boston. In other words, the fixed the wrong part of the show! Now the whole of Act 1 was a mess!! And Act 2 was no better. It really was a shame. The show had such great potential.
When I saw the tour with Rigby I thought they had fixed some of the problems butt added a whole new one. In the tour, Jojo has a much larger part in the preceedings, but his whole "concept" ruins his involvement. Originally, Jojo was Who in Whoville and the Whos were in peril. So you had some investment in Jojo's safety. In the tour, Jojo was some kid who "stepped into" the story at the behest of the Cat in the Hat. The problem is, if Jojo can step into the story, he can step out of it too (and does so more than once). So you don't feel that Jojo is invested or connected to the proceedings and, whatever happens, you know that Jojo can just step out of the story whenever he wants. So there is no sense of danger or risk for him. That concept fails horribly!
So, in all its incarnations, SEUSSICAL has been frustrating. Such potential and such lack of focus. There is a good musical in there somewhere. They just haven't found it yet.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Seussical
Posted: 4/11/12 at 09:08pm
To speak to the comment made by an above poster that mentioned the show is among one of the most produced shows that MTI carries: I directed this (Jr Version with 7th and 8th graders) and we had an absolute BLAST -- the adults, the kids and even the audiences. While I would never choose to sit through it from the audience again, I'd still reccommend it to director friends to produce.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
broadway guy
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/11
Seussical
Posted: 4/12/12 at 07:16pm
I actually never even realized the whole "jojo less danger" thing in the junior version. but mikey 2573 is technically right i guess lol.
the reason i fell in love with seussical is because I think it has so much heart to it.Yes,it isnt the perfect show in the world.but it does what a musical is suppose to do.it takes you too another world...and its fun
JohnyBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/12
Seussical
Posted: 4/12/12 at 09:23pm
I'd love to see a revisioned revival
GlitterandBeGay2
Chorus Member
joined:3/22/14
Seussical
Posted: 5/18/14 at 03:54am
Fantastic news! I was at a regional performance/incredible recreation of the original INTO THE WOODS in southern California this evening where the producer announced the company's upcoming season which is to include SEUSSICAL starring Cathy Rigby! My only experience with the show is the cast recording and a faint memory of a "Rosie O'Donnell Show" performance but I've read many good reviews about Cathy's turn as the Cat and am very excited that I have the opportunity to see her in the role and in whatever form the show's book is right now. I don't know if there has been an official announcement or if things will change between now and 2015 but wanted to pass the info on. This would be my third Ahrens-Flaherty show if it happens!!
Wicked Fanatic
Leading Actor
joined:3/31/09
Seussical
Posted: 5/18/14 at 05:15pm
^
I talked to Cathy Rigby at the final show of "Cats" at La Mirada Theatre on Mother's Day and it's a GO at 3-D Theatricals for 2014-2015.
bwayobsessed
Stand-by
joined:5/28/13
Seussical
Posted: 5/18/14 at 06:58pm
I think the show should have focused on and developed the characters of Horton, Jojo, Mayzie, and especially Gertrude (maybe even the Kangaroo). Those are the most interesting characters to me. I want a duet between Mayzie and Gertrude in act two alla For the first time in forever (Reprise) or take me or leave me. My thought is maybe have Horton like Mayzie to add to the complictaion between Gertrude and Mayzie. Then completely cut the whole Military subplot and either give the Mayor more actual character traits or scale him down. It makes the show run all over the place. Also when I saw it, the guy who played the Cat was amazing but How lucky you are just doesnt work at all. It works when Mayzie sings it but that's it and it's certainly not an act 1 finale. Also a lot of the little characters that are just thrown in to add more Seuss references could be cut to make the show cleaner.

And I agree with everyone who's saying more dancing and more interesting sets.
Littleshopofcarrie
Broadway Star
joined:12/9/12
Seussical
Posted: 5/18/14 at 07:34pm
Would kill to see Cathy's performance again!
mikey2573
Broadway Star
joined:12/28/10
Seussical
Posted: 5/18/14 at 09:57pm
It would be nice if they got the original creators back together, and a book doctor and came out with a version of this show that actually WORKED. Go back to all the good stuff in Boston (first part of Act 1) and focus the story more on Horton and Jojo. That is where the real heart of the story is --with these two outcasts and the connection they make.
BTW the tour Horton the Elephant was Tony nominated director (and didn't he win for MORMON?) Casey Nicholaw.
Jeffrey Karasarides
Leading Actor
joined:11/27/11
Seussical
Posted: 5/19/14 at 12:29am
"BTW the tour Horton the Elephant was Tony nominated director (and didn't he win for MORMON?) Casey Nicholaw."

Oh, he won Best Director for The Book of Mormon, and he's also nominated again this year for choreographing Aladdin.

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