Exuberant `Seussical' is lots of good fun that is funny



At Oakland Mills High School on the eve of the first, a musical called Seussical was played and rehearsed. And the audience, familiar with the Seussical plot - they all liked the musical, yes, they liked it a lot.

The childhood rebel's favorite Cat in the Hat acts as the emcee through a flashy, energetic production of extraordinary "thinks." Familiar Seuss characters return to wreak havoc in lands like the Jungle of Nool and the planet of Who. Before long, the imaginative elephant, Horton, hears a Who and becomes friends with the Who Mayor's son, JoJo, who often gets into trouble for his extravagant daydreams. Horton must protect the minute town of Who before the monkey-ish Wickershams and sassy Sour Kangaroo steal it for good.

Meanwhile, Gertrude McFuzz, a rather plain bird, has taken a liking to Horton's truly unique personality and undergoes a tail-growing endeavor as suggested by the prima donna Mayzie La Bird to get Horton to notice her. Chaos ensues as Horton tries to protect his beloved town while incubating Mayzie's egg and ignoring the pleas of Gertrude as a tale unfolds of love, imagination and the importance of being yourself.

The musical was battery-charged, with plenty of energy. The cast moved as a single entity in huge ensemble numbers, including "Oh the Thinks You Can Think" and "Green Eggs and Ham." That they donned gorgeous, outlandish, colorful outfits only added to the appeal of the Seussical cast.

Especially notable was Horton, played by Kevin Pie, who demonstrated his vocal talents with innocent harmonies. His admirer, Gertrude, performed incredibly in her sweet bird-esque songs. Every motion was cute, so she complemented Horton's appeal. Vocally, Lauren Fox, playing the Sour Kangaroo, raised the roof with her incredible range in "Biggest Blame Fool," and JoJo (Christina Toner) sang in a beautiful tone. The Wickershams as a whole ignited frenzy as they monkeyed on and off stage, sometimes flying to the ground, all the while singing beautifully.

Although there were some technical difficulties, the cast and crew handled them with poise. The flawless orchestra resonated on and off stage, breathing life into Seuss' loveable rhymes.

Oakland Mills' production of Seussical was everything an adult needed to feel like a kid again - bright colors, gorgeous sounds and the imagination of a man who shaped the lives of children learning to read around the English-speaking world. Anything less would have been, well, Grinchy.

Lauren Simenauer, a sophomore at Centennial, reviewed "Seussical" for the Cappies of Baltimore, a program in which students review high school productions under the direction of their teachers and vote on awards for outstanding performances.

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