Travel to the Jungle of Nool and the invisible world of the Whos as the Weber Middle School Drama Club presents Seussical, March 23 through 25 in the Schreiber High School auditorium.
“We chose Seussical because it had a lot of parts and it’s a great storyline for kids and adults of all ages,” said musical director and Weber music teacher Allison Friedman. “We like to include as many students as possible. We have 76 students on stage, about 50 on our stage crew and about 30 in the pit. It’s a fun and lively show and we feel great that March is Dr. Seuss month. We took our eighth graders around on Dr. Seuss’s birthday to read Horton Hears A Who to first graders. We were able to tie it into community, into literacy and it’s just a really great show.”
Everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss characters will come alive through this energetic and lively musical. Led by the mischievous Cat in the Hat, played by eighth grader Amy Baxter, Seussical follows the story of Horton the Elephant, played by eighth grader Eleanor Chromy, who discovers a dust speck containing Whoville.
“What I like about this role is that the character is so silly and so fun and totally crazy and out of their mind that it doesn’t matter how far the craziness goes, they still want to do more,” said Baxter.
“I tried out for Seussical because I love musical theater and this is one of my favorite musicals even before I knew this is the play we were doing,” added Chromy. “I like this role a lot because it’s different from what I normally play, which is usually peppy roles.”
Horton then meets JoJo, played by seventh grader Abby Smith, a Who child constantly reprimanded for her “thinks” and her parents the Mayor and Mayor’s Wife of Whoville, played by eighth graders Noah Corsitto and Emily Djohan.
“I love that I get to, especially with this kind of role, I get to interpret the imagination of JoJo and there’s such a wide creative space,” said Smith.
Horton decides to protect this speck of dust on a nearby clover, while also protecting an egg abandoned by the selfish and flamboyant Mayzie la Bird, played by eighth grader Hannah Brooks. Only Horton’s friend and loyal neighbor, Gertrude McFuzz, portrayed by eighth grader Tessa Klugman, believes in him while the other Jungle Citizens put him on trial for insanity. Ultimately, friendship, community and the special thinks of a young child emerge triumphant and encourage all who watch to “think, dare and dream as boldly as Dr. Seuss.”
“I auditioned because I love musical theater and what kid doesn’t like Dr. Seuss,” said Klugman. “I like Gertrude because she doesn’t give up no matter how much rejection she faces.”
Weber Middle School’s production of Seussical is directed by Weber English teacher Stacey Portmore-Davies, musically directed by Friedman and choreographed by South Salem fifth-grade teacher Stacey Medford. The show features more than 150 talented students in the cast, pit orchestra and crew.
“It’s a very childlike storyline so all the kids will love it, but also they’ve added stuff so all the adults would love it too,” said Brooks, explaining why everyone should come to see the show.
Performances will be held on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. All performances will be held in the Schreiber High School auditorium. Tickets are $5 for general admission, $3 for students in grades kindergarten through 12 and senior citizens 65 and older and children five and under are free.
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