Photo Flash: First Look - Dr. Seuss' THE CAT IN THE HAT at Children's Theatre Company, 5/22-7/27

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Children's Theatre Company (CTC), in its second year of summer programming following 2013's Ivey Award-winning production If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, remounts Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat beginning May 22 and now extended through July 27. During its run at CTC in 2012, the show, directed by 2013 Ivey Award- winner Jason Ballweber, was a smashing success and subsequently toured to Manitoba, Canada. The Cat in the Hat remains a favorite in the Dr. Seuss canon, and its theatrical reincarnation is high-octane and colorful, brimming with physical humor. Check out a first look below!

The adaptation by the National Theatre's Katie Mitchell is pulled directly from the text of the beloved, rhymed story of the mischievous bow tie-wearing cat who entertains two young children stuck at home on a rainy day. The production's design uses Seuss' original illustrations to brilliant effect: the audience feels as though they've been placed directly into the pages of the original book. Set pieces, props and costumes are painted and created to look like the book's illustrations and the only dialogue in the show is what is found in the book: it's up to the director and talented cast of actors to "fill in" the story. Production director Jason Ballweber exclaims, "It is really amazing to be able to visit this zany show again. We are making all kinds of new discoveries about the story and having a great time rediscovering some favorite comedic moments. We're having even more fun creating a load of new laughs!"

The role of Cat will be reprised by CTC acting company member Dean Holt, a performer known for his incredible agility and physical comedy. Holt recently won an Ivey Award for his performance in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as the hilarious, all-too-needy Mouse. CTC acting company member Gerald Drake returns his role as the cautious fish, the only voice of restraint against the Cat's antics. Elise Langer and Douglas Neithercott are back in their roles as Sally and the Boy, respectively. (Langer also has a 2013 Ivey Award under her belt: this past fall, Jason Ballweber and Langer accepted an Ivey Award for excellence for Milly and Tillie, which Langer co-created and Ballweber directed.) The roles of Things 1 and 2 will be played by Ana Christine Evans and Claire Hoffman, both seen in Alice in Wonderland last season (with Evans in the title role).

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat first premiered at CTC in September 2012, where it had the distinction of being the U.S. premiere of the National Theatre of Great Britain's adaptation. CTC has a special relationship with Dr. Seuss. Long the only theatre in the U.S.A. with permission to develop original productions based on his works, CTC is still the only theatre in the world with the rights to Dr. Seuss' The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and additionally created the theatrical version of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which has been performed on Broadway and toured nationally.

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat has already been extended by one week and runs May 22 - July 27 on the Cargill Stage. As part of CTC's commitment to programming for ages two through eighteen, Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat is recommended for ages pre-K and up. Tickets are on sale now starting at $10. For more information, visit childrenstheatre.org or call the Ticket Office at 612.874.0400.

Photos by Dan Norman

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