by Arnie Finkel

Dr. Seuss characters come to life on the stage in Methacton Community Theater's SEUSSICAL, THE MUSICAL running through July 24. (L. to R.:) Mazie LaBird (Courtney Collins), The Cat in the Hat (Justin Caiazzo), Gertrude McFuzz (Katie McCool).

I wish I had the wit and time…

To do this review all in rhyme…

Oh well, and this is my excuse…

I just can’t equal Dr Seuss!

Lynn Ahrens(book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty(music), however, adapted the whimsy and fun of the good doctor’s books into an enjoyable evening of theater. Methacton Community Theater’s production makes the most of the material. Their show is charming.

The plot is a mixture of Horton the Elephant saving the miniscule Whos, and baby sitting irresponsible Mazie’s egg; Gertrude’s adventures trying to get Horton’s attention: and the plight of the citizens on Whoville who face extinction. All of these familiar stories and their morals are the stuff of pure pleasure.

Justin Caiazzo was outstanding as The Cat in the Hat. He has a fine voice and moves like a whirlwind. Jude Adams was a perfect Horton. He sang well and was always in character. Katie McCool was adorable as Gertrude McFuzz. Young Julia Richter added a lot as JoJo. I expect to hear more about her in the future. All the characters in the jungle of Nool and Whoville and in the Circus McGurkus added color and fun to the show. It was ironic that the tallest person in the show, Warren Shuey, was the Mayor of tiny Whoville.

Director Ken Brown handled the size difference of the Who’s and the rest of the cast cleverly by use of a split stage. He kept the show moving at a good pace. Lynn Inciardi’s choreography moved the 40 plus people around amazingly. The set was appropriately Seuss-like and the lighting and sound designs work to the benefit of the show.

I can’t say enough about the superb pit orchestra. Carolyn Santoro conducted the seventeen piece orchestra expertly. It’s a pleasure to hear a score played so well.

Dr Seuss would be proud and Methacton should be as well.

Music by Stephen Flaherty
Book and Lyrics by Lynne Ahrens
Directed by Ken Brown
July 16 – 24, 2010
Methacton Community Theater
Perkiomen Valley Middle School East
100 Kagey Road
Collegeville, PA

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