KENNETT SQUARE—“Seussical” based on the poems and stories by childhood favorite Dr. Seuss is equally delightful for adults and small children. (There were many small children in the audience all mesmerized and unbelievably well behaved).
This non-sensical story concerns Horton (the elephant played superbly by (Ryan Myers) and the Cat in the Hat (Colin Peterson). These two young men were marvelous playing with energy, humor, split second timing and excellent diction. As one event led to another they carried the audience along from one event to the next. Besides numerous solos they showed talent in dances and acrobatics with perfect timing.
There were many themes in this show but since the song “How Lucky You Are” is sung 5 times by different characters it probably is the lead theme followed by others including “The Things You Can Think”, and repeatedly showing that “Little People Count”.
Although pleasant themes were emphasized all was not serene in “Seussaland”. Various groups appeared through the play adding to the confusion. A gang of “thuggish men” (The Wickersham Brother David Diokno, Tim Freligh, Pete Magasiny, Tejis Ranganath, Robbie Rauscher, and Jack Ryan) performed a very intimidating performed dance (very well executed) and other equally performed appearances throughout the show especially in the number “Monkeying Around”.
A contrasting group The Bird Girls, (Cecilia Barron, Emma Giancola, Allie Hodges, Rebecca Larimer, Hannah Pirestani, Maya Ranganath, Catt Seamon and Leah Wardwell) performed a graceful garden dance, as well as 6 or 7 additional well done appearance.
The “who”- a group of 15 small residents of the jungle who had multiple appearances throughout the event. They were Alexandra Barron, Avery Chapman, Lily Ehren, Genna Eiselm Marisol Gonzales Flores, Holly Gouge, Shannon Gouge, Shannon Gouge, Kaila Haenn, Sylvia He, David Lemper, Sydney Lillard, Noah Schiller, Julia Snoke, Madison Thies and Sydney Williams. -. In the jungle were “creatures” who created the “jungle feeling” for the featured scenes that hey supplemented. They were Ashley Brown, Rhiannon Calp, Cheyenne Camacho, Domonique DIokno, Meredith Fay, Nina Gralewski-Goel, Andy Lucero, Charlotte Mowry, Kara Murphy, Hadley Studer, Josette Wynn and Alvira Zilbershteyn .
JoJo (Justin McAndrew) as the son of the mayor and “Side Kick” to Horton showed excellent poise, talented and versatility as his part carried him from songs “It’s possible”, “Alone in the Universe”, “How Lucky You Are”, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Havin’ a Hunch” to the “Unlikely” military cadet and soldier to being the perfect “Side Kick” for Horton.
The Sour Kangaroo (Mirella Petrillo) portrays a sexy trouble making agitator who sings beautifully (Biggest Blame Fed” and “Chasing the Who’s”) and constantly agitates.
Mr. Mayor (Daniel Battalora) and Mrs. Mayor (Anna Brunke) appeared to be the perfectly married couple concerned about their son, Jojo. Their voices blended perfectly in their duet (How to Raise a Childs).
The role of the Shy Mayzie(Lilian Alba) was delightfully played as she worked to gain the affection of Horton. Her delightful voice was enjoyed in songs like “How Lucky You Are” and “Amazing Horton”.
The strong voice of Gertrude (Rachel Hyzny) portrayed her as a “good time girl”. She sang well in songs like “One Feather Tail” and “Notice McHorton” and really thrilled the audience with “Alone in the Universe”.
Properly stern the General (Evan Shinn) led the military cades in training and marching and a rendition of “Green Eggs and Ham”.
There were numerous musical and dance numbers throughout the show. On several occasions there were 3 or 4 –groups of dances each in their own sections of the stage simultaneously “Doing their Own Thing” all extremely well-coordinated. (I think all 52 actors were on the stage at the same time). This dancing “moved the show” and showed the result of many hours of planning and practicing. Director/choreographer (Cindy Albertini) and her dance captain (Tamblyn Mitchell) should be very proud.
The set was very well designed to allow a large number of people to be on stage and remain visible to the audience. It was like a bleacher but it worked. There were floating stars, electrical Swimming Fish, roller skaters and more with Horton sitting on an egg.
The orchestra was excellent. The conducted Guenevere Calabrese Finley did a wonderful job keeping the tempo of the show moving.
In addition to Guenevere, the Calabrese family continues a long history of enhancing the music program at Kennett High. Her 2 children Jackson (7) and Charlie (3) are the fourth generation to attend Kennett Schools left the audience in a joyous mood. The show ended with the entire cast singing “Green Eggs and Ham” which would be expected in a show by Dr. Seuss!