Dr Seuss's world of imagination comes to your back yard in fantastic stage musical

13 December 2019 - 10:00 By Lebohang Nthongoa
'Seussical' brings Dr Seuss characters to life on stage.
'Seussical' brings Dr Seuss characters to life on stage.
Image: Supplied

If you do one thing for your inner child this festive season, or want to give the children in your life the best theatrical experience, especially first-timers, go to see Seussical, a musical extravaganza celebrating all your favourite Dr Seuss stories and characters. 

Books like The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, The Grinch and The Who, penned by American children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel, or, famously, Dr Seuss, are a few of the staples many of us grew up on and introduced to our children.

Now these classics are part of a theatrical production that promises to excite the imagination of everyone who sees it.

In an hour of fun and fast musical extravaganza, Seussical is “all of Dr Seuss in a blender”, with a modern twist in that it incorporates different musical genres, such as rock, gospel, R&B and pop.

“The musical started in 2000 on New York’s Broadway. It was way ahead of its time, the best actors in New York were there. Had it come now, it would have been better received. The time is ripe for this production,” said Drew Bakker, CEO of &Co, the company producing the musical.

The cast of 'Seussical'. Back: Chantal Stanfield (Gertrude), Lois du Plessis (Sour Kangaroo), Musanete Sakupwanya (Cat in the Hat) and Danny Meaker (Wickersham). Middle: Danelle Cronje (Baby Kangaroo), Sarah Richard (Mrs Mayor) and Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri (Mr Mayor). Front: Mortimer Williams (Horton), Abby Molz (Jojo) and Carly Graeme (Mayzie).
The cast of 'Seussical'. Back: Chantal Stanfield (Gertrude), Lois du Plessis (Sour Kangaroo), Musanete Sakupwanya (Cat in the Hat) and Danny Meaker (Wickersham). Middle: Danelle Cronje (Baby Kangaroo), Sarah Richard (Mrs Mayor) and Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri (Mr Mayor). Front: Mortimer Williams (Horton), Abby Molz (Jojo) and Carly Graeme (Mayzie).
Image: Supplied

“We know the audience is a new generation, and see things through a fresh set of eyes. We have deconstructed and re-imagined it from the ground up, as a child would look at things through their imagination. Imagination is a huge part of the production and the audience is a big part of that imagination. The way some things unfold on stage is as if things transform before your eyes.”

New in the Dr Seuss mix is the story of Jojo. The character has an unstoppable imagination and brings together all the favourite Dr Seuss characters in a big musical adventure.

The idea behind Jojo, played by Abby Molz, is that she represents anyone and everyone who may be misunderstood. Any child who feels they don't always fit in could be part of Jojo's story. 

Visually, Seussical promises to be a feast for the eyes.

“We wanted to create Kid World of Seuss quite literally and make it theatrical,” Bakker said.  

Some of the local greats starring in the musical include Chantal Stanfield, Lois du Plessis, Carly Graeme and Mortimer Williams.

“What we hope the audience walks away with is the knowledge that a person is a person, no matter how small! No matter who they are, they matter,” said Bakker.

  • Tickets are R100
  • The show runs from December 20 at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.

A behind the scenes look at the making of Seussical:  

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The Making of SEUSSICAL

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