BWW Review: SEUSSICAL at Hale Centre Theatre is Whimsical Fun
Hale Centre Theatre's production of SEUSSICAL on its Centre Stage is a whimsical journey through the world of Dr. Seuss that's fun for all ages.
SEUSSICAL (music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty) is an amalgamation of many Dr. Seuss titles, featuring characters, themes, and plot points from his books. Horton the Elephant hears the voices of the tiny Whos, who live on a speck of dust on a piece of clover, but none of his fellow jungle animals believe him, and then he finds himself left caring for the egg of absentee mother Mayzie La Bird. His friends JoJo, the young son of the Whoville mayor, and Gertrude McFuzz, a one-feather-tailed bird, are all he has to rely on, along with his unrelenting imagination and optimism.
Ryan Simmons, single cast as the Cat in the Hat (understudied by Andy Hansen), is a gifted comedian, adept at improvisation that has the audience in stitches.
Grant Shumway as JoJo (double cast with Parker Burnham) is a star with natural performing ability and a great singing voice.
Dustin Bolt as Horton the Elephant (double cast with Travis Anderson) is someone you want to root for, and he is surrounded by equally compelling co-stars: Ali Bennett as Gertrude McFuzz (double cast with Kelly Coombs), the single-cast Bailee Morris as Mayzie La Bird (understudied by Krista Saltmarsh), and Luseane Pasa as Sour Kangaroo (double cast with Mack).
Directed and choreographed by Dave Tinney, and with aerial choreography by Ramsi Nia Stoker, it's an effervescent production that's elevated by an exciting, cohesive orb-filled design, including one jaw-dropping ball-dropping moment that could only be attained on Hale Centre Theatre's unique stage.
The set design is by the always innovative Kacey Udy, with costume design by MaryAnn Hill, lighting design by Michael Gray, projection design by Bobby Gibson, and properties design by Michelle Jensen.
SEUSSICAL plays through January 18, 2020. For tickets, call the box office at 801-984-9000 or visit www.hct.org.