Familiar stories and characters from many of Dr. Seuss’ popular children’s books are set to music in a show that is coming to The State Theatre on Tuesday.
“Seussical, The Musical Jr.” is presented by Singing Onstage, a musical theatre training and performance studio located in State College.
The group is in its 10th year of performing shows and offers classes for children, ages 4-18. The theater training school averages about 20 shows a year and will present the Dr. Seuss-inspired musical with a cast of 24 --–– ranging between the ages of 9 and 12.
“The show is meant to be imaginative,” Heidi Biever, director of Singing Onstage and of the show, said.
It will offer a variety of different characters and has beautiful music, Biever said.
The cast of “Seussical” brings a lot of energy to the stage, she said. The music is a highlight in the performance and it’s a great way to spend an evening, Biever said.
“[The kids] bring a lot of joy and sincerity. It’s really inspiring to watch a group of students [perform],” she said.
This show is good for all ages, Julie Snyder, choreographer of the musical, said.
The show deals with some adult issues but in a way that is not inappropriate, she said.
The dancing in “Seussical” is a mix of many genres, leaning most closely to that of jazz, Snyder said.
For Tuesday night, the cast has been rehearsing for about four months, having three rehearsals each week, she said.
Snyder said the kids are taught somewhat simplistic moves so that they can “put expression into dance moves” and “[bring] out the emotion and fun” when performing.
“Seussical, The Musical’s” music and lyrics were written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, writers of other famous show like “Lucky Stiff,” “Ragtime” and “Once on This Island.”
The show began its run on Broadway in 2000 and has since been Grammy-nominated.
It is told by The Cat in the Hat and includes lazy Mayzie, Gertrude McFuzz, Jo-Jo the Who and Horton the Elephant — a primary focus.
Singing Onstage’s cast is performing the junior version of “Seussical, the Musical.” This version is a condensed show and has a runtime of approximately 75 minutes.
Jackson Pavlik, 11, plays The Cat in the Hat and believes that the show is good for all audiences.
“Seussical, The Musical Jr.” has a great deal of singing and dancing throughout it, he said.
Eleven-year-old Jonathan Coll plays Horton the Elephant but not until the second half of the show.
He said that “Seussical” is “very funny” and that everyone should come out and watch the performance because all of the kids in the cast “worked very hard.”
Also age 11, Erzsi Misangyi plays Mayzie La Bird in the performance.
She hopes a lot of people can come see the show because “it’s a chance for people to see a live production [and] to see kids who love acting,” she said.