BWW Review: THE CAT IN THE HAT at The Rose Theater is Short and Sweet
In order for me to fully appreciate a showing of Dr. Seuss's THE CAT IN THE HAT, I brought along my six year old great niece. In her opinion, the show was a hit. She may have been a typical squirmy kid in her seat, but her eyes were glued to the action on the stage and she was transported to the imaginary land of Seuss.
Running through October 13, this 45 minute production is great fun for young audiences. Based on the beloved children's book by Dr. Seuss and adapted for stage by Katie Mitchell, Dr. Seuss's wacky Cat (Lauren Krupski) wearing her quintessential red and white stovepipe hat winds up at the home of Sally (Katie Otten) and Conrad (Fran Silau) who are staring miserably out at the rain. There is nothing for them to do while their mother is away. Until "THE CAT" shows up with a bag of tricks.
These tricks cause quite a mess and when the mother is heard approaching, the children become desperate. In the words of director Kevin Ehrhart, "In life, things get crazy and then come out the other side." This story shows that not all that appears lost is hopeless. In this case, the Cat is a master at cleaning up in addition to creating chaos.
Devon Denn-Young crafted a moving clean-up machine complete with extra pairs of hands. This along with books that stack, dishes that perch on the hat, a fish that pops out of its bowl, a magical box, and a puffy ball that somehow the Cat can stand on all catch the imagination of the young audience as well as give me pause to admire the creativity.
When the Cat drags in the box containing Thing 1 (Sue Gillespie Booton) and Thing 2 (Jay Hayden), things spin out of control. Booton's choreography and Earhart's blocking combined in what Ehrhart terms "choreo-blocking" is wildly crazy. Think of whirling dervishes with super-animated expressions of glee dancing to uptempo musical tracks.
Krupski also pulls faces of exaggerated excitement, capturing the attention of her audience. Otten and Silau play it with subtlety, joining in on the fun, but showing slight reservations as the house becomes more and more wrecked. The fish (Jessica Burrill-Logue) makes comical bubbling movements with her lips, and her costume designed by Sherri Geerdes is inspired pink petals.
It was interesting watching the ladies signing off to the side of the theatre since much of the play is just sounds. That and the presence of two sight-impaired patrons in the front row made me think how this show really can be enjoyed by everyone.
THE CAT IN THE HAT is short and sweet, perfect for an afternoon or evening out with your little ones.
SEP 27-OCT 13, 2019
Fridays at 7:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 and 5:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. www.rosetheater.org or call (402) 345-4849.
Photo Credit: Alex Myhre