Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL

The production ran November 18th through 19th

By: Nov. 21, 2023
Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
YAA Orchestra in YAA's Seussical the Musical. Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

This past weekend, the Young Artists of America put on the well-known production Seussical the Musical, bringing a new, modern twist to the story we have all grown to love. YAA’s productions always bring such joy and excitement with the caliber of talent these students display. With a show that has been put on numerous times by theatre groups everywhere, this production brought new life into the story of some of Dr. Seuss’ most popular books. 

Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
YAA Company & Orchestra in YAA's Seussical the Musical. Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

This performance of Seussical was cleverly set in modern times with the inclusion of smartphones and references to current social issues. I appreciated that YAA created a production that made a story, first performed back in 2000, relevant to today. This colorful tale helped to emphasize the importance of “thinkers” and leaders being present in society so that we can help and learn from each other.

Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
Grace Pressley & company in YAA's Seussical the Musical. Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

I am always in awe of the talent that the students of YAA present in each performance. No matter the show or the role that the YAA members participate in, they make the most of it every single time. Leading us through the story, Luka van Herksen (Cat in the Hat) gave such a marvelous performance that entertained the entire audience. Van Herksen really stepped into this wonderfully chaotic character and made it his own. It was so fun getting to watch van Herksen work in a personality that was unlike any other Cat performance I have seen. He was so involved in each bit throughout the story, putting on multiple “hats” that brought the show to life.

Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
Luka van Herksen & Veronica Romero in YAA's Seussical the Musical. Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

Alongside van Herksen was Veronica Romero (Jojo), who gave a stunning performance as the notorious thinker of Who. Romero brought both the child-like imagination and the determination that Jojo utilizes to get through his troubles. Not only did Romero put on a great performance, but her scene work and interactions with van Herksen made this show so wonderful to watch.

Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
Seger Ott-Rudolph & company in YAA's Seussical the Musical. Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

Then, in the larger world, specifically the Jungle of Nool, we meet more characters portrayed by more talented individuals. Seger Ott-Rudolph (Horton) continues to steal the show in each production he participates in. Playing a character as large as an elephant who feels so small in the jungle can be a challenging task. Ott-Rudolph brought forth the caring and selfless personality of Horton in such a lovely way, the audience was continuously captivated by his flawless performance. 

Review: Young Artists of America Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
YAA Orchestra in YAA's Seussical the Musical. Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

Sophie Beck (Gertrude), Grace Pressley (Mayzie), Christian Blair (Mr. Mayor), Anah Ambuchi (Mrs. Mayor), and Hamsini Tikkisetti (Sour Kangaroo), and all of the YAA students helped bring the rest of the production together. A show like Seussical has many different elements to it, especially while keeping the whimsy of the world of Dr. Seuss alive. It was a great joy to see over 150 students come together and put on such a large production. It’s clear that each participant in YAA Company, YAA Junior, and YAA Orchestra was meant to be there and enjoys being there. I am so excited to see what this talented group of students will do in the future.

Running time: 120 minutes plus a 15-minute intermission

Young Artis of America's Seussical the Musical ran November 18-19th at the Performing Arts Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel located at 17301 Old Vic Boulevard Olney, MD 20832.

For more information about YAA, click here.



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