By: Jen Russon
Fans of children’s books by Dr. Seuss are in for a treat as the theater department at J.P. Taravella prepares to recreate wildly imaginative scenes from classics like Cat and the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, and, of course, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
In all, one fantastic story woven from 20 books by Theodor Seuss Geisel comes to life on stage, with sets that take readers back to the Jungle of Nool, Who-ville, and forests of Truffula Trees.
Hunter Quinn, an award-winning actor, stars as the Cat in the Hat. Last May, Quinn won the Cappie’s Best Comic Actor award for his performance in the musical, Sweet Charity.
The young actor’s whimsical, zany style could not find a better match than Suessical the Musical.
Written and composed by Tony Award winners, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaharty, Seussical debuted on Broadway 20 years ago and featured a large cast including Whos, cadets, jungle creatures, circus animals and fish.
To pull that off on the Taravella stage, Theater Director Lori Sessions said she cast children from Little Trojan Academy, Maplewood Elementary, and Tamarac Elementary.
“I am so proud of the student creativity and leadership in this production. The design concept, the set, costume, makeup, lights, props, sound, and even the choreography are student-designed and created,” said Sessions.
Looking ahead to opening night, Sessions remarked how truly special it is to see the cast rehearse, and that she’s confident Seussical will take audiences on an extraordinary journey indeed.
“As The Cat in the Hat encourages Jojo to use his imagination, it has been a joy watching the students use theirs.” said Sessions.
Featured songs in the production include “The world’s greatest show on the face of the earth” and “Wherever you go.”
The Cappies Critics are adjudicating Seussical for awards consideration at the 18th South Florida Cappies Gala, a Tony Awards style ceremony to honor South Florida High School theatre and journalism students.
This February, Seussical gives the Taravella drama department the chance to present a story based on imagination, loyalty, and friendship.
Performances are February 27 and February 28 at 7:00 p.m. and on February 29 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Pre-sale tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at www.seatyourself.biz/jpt. Tickets are available at the box office for $15 one hour before the performance. J.P. Taravella is located at 10600 Riverside Drive in Coral Springs.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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