High School 'Seussical'
The Watauga High School drama department has confirmed it:
Horton will, in fact, hear a Who.
In addition, there will be not only one fish, but two fish – not to mention the red fish and blue fish.
Starting Thursday, March 22, the WHS Playmakers are serving a musical helping of green eggs, ham and more with “Suessical the Musical.”
A colorful amalgamation of Dr. Seuss’s timeless children’s books, “Seussical,” written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, premiered on Broadway in 2000. International and U.S. tours would follow, the show proving popular with audiences of all ages.
It struck a particular note with WHS drama instructor and director Sarah Miller.
“We loved the ‘Seussiness’ of it,” she said. “The character and the elements of the story are universally recognized, and it just spoke to us. The music is great, fun for all ages in the most literal sense.”
It’s also colorful in the most literal sense, with a set right from the pages of Dr. Seuss’s imaginative works, designed by Kelly Sweeney, a student from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, and built by Sweeney and students from WHS’s technical theater class. “It’s the most fun with the set I’ve had,” Miller said.
And it’s a big set, large enough to accommodate the 100-plus student performers, ranging from freshmen to seniors, practically all of whom fondly remember Dr. Seuss from their childhood.
“I love the fact we’ve all read the Seuss books,” said senior Casey Courtney, who plays Horton. “This really takes us back to our childhood.”
For senior Kaitlin Felts, who portrays Mayzie LaBird, her childhood favorite is “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” The musical, she said, follows Seuss’s vibrant and playful tone, making it fun for performers and audiences, alike.
“I love it,” she said. “There’s such a fantastic energy in this show – colorful, energetic and fun.”
“‘Seussical’ is like a big combination of multiple Dr. Seuss books, combining storylines together to make an incredible show,” said senior Robert Seagle, who plays the famous (or infamous) Cat in the Hat.
It’s a combination senior Morgan Story, who plays Jojo, calls “fantastical.”
“I’ve been in a lot of musicals, but this is the most fun,” she said. “There’s crazy costumes, lots of energy, so much fun.”
It’s also the most musical musical the students have performed, said senior Jordan Thomas, who plays Gertrude McFuzz. “It’s basically an opera, with very little dialogue – the entire show is done through song,” she said.
It’s also done through teamwork. With more than 100 students on stage, Miller said the students have banded together to put on a memorable show – freshmen, seniors and all those in between.
“It’s very intimidating to have a lead part,” said freshman Renee Taylor, who plays the Sour Kangaroo, “but they’re giving me a lot of support, because it’s such a great and unique cast.”
The young cast is also looking forward to introducing Seuss to the next generation.
“I have a little brother, and I’m glad he’ll be able to come and see it,” said Lauren Lehr, who plays Mrs. Mayor. “It’s clean, fun and fun to perform.”
Her stage husband, Michael Navarro as the Mayor of Whoville, agrees – naturally. “It’s so creative, colorful and fun,” he said.
“And fantastical,” Story added.
“Seussical the Musical” opens Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. It continues March 23 and 24, both at 7 p.m., and all in the high school’s Ross Auditorium Tickets cost $10 for reserved seating and are on sale daily in the WHS Commons Lobby, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., while they last.
For more information, visit the WHS Fusion Homepage, located at http://www.wataugak12.nc.us by clicking on the WHS page.
Green Eggs and Jam
The WHS National Honor Society is putting Seuss to use with a benefit dinner Friday, March 23, to help a local family whose house was lost in a fire.
The dinner, appropriately titled “Green Eggs and Jam,” will feature a breakfast menu of pancakes, bacon, sausage and, you got it, green eggs and ham.
The dinner takes place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Watauga High School cafeteria, just before Friday’s performance of “Seussical,” allowing diners to munch and mingle with the musical’s colorful characters.
Tickets to the dinner cost $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
For more information on the dinner and musical, contact Sarah Miller at (firstname.lastname@example.org)