'Seussical the Musical' opens March 1 at Christ the King in Richland

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 26, 2014 

Christ the King School presents Seussical the Musical on March 6-8. Courtesy Lisa A. Peterson

COURTESY LISA A. PETERSON

A whole lot of silliness, Dr. Seuss-style, happens in Seussical the Musical, which opens March 6 at Christ the King School in Richland.

"This is our fifth annual musical production involving all the seventh- and eighth-grade students," said director Janice McIntyre. "This year, we are working with a cast of 95, each participating as either an actor, stage crew member or sound technician."

Seussical is a silly romp through stories written by Dr. Seuss like Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, and Yertle the Turtle.

And that feisty Cat in the Hat will be there, as well as that heroic elephant Horton and a slew of other adorable characters like Gertrude McFuzz, Amayzing Mayzie, Sour Kangaroo and Jojo.

The whole point of the show, McIntyre said, is to attain that feel-good Seussical feeling that comes with catchy tunes like Egg, Nest and Tree, Green Eggs and Ham, Oh! The Thinks You Can Think.

The story follows Horton, who discovers a family of Whos trapped on a speck of dust. He rescues the family, including little Jojo, who was sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many thinks.

Horton's attention focused on the Whos draws some not-so-nice taunting from the Sour Kangaroo and the rest of the animal kingdom.

But Gertrude McFuzz, who loves Horton, stands by her man against the bullies.

As for Jojo and his obsession with thinks, well, he ends up saving them all in the end.

Dominic Salinas, 14, plays Horton, with Hannah Fewel, 14, as Gertrude and Sam Brendel, 13, as Jojo.

The supporting cast includes Noel Anderson, 13, as Amayzing Mayzie; Skylar Younkin, 13, as the Cat in the Hat; Annia Hedlund, 13, as Sour Kangaroo; Anna Jarman, 13, as Mrs. Mayor; and Logan Thomas, 13, as Mr. Mayor.

"This show calls for a great deal of singing and dancing, which calls for more time with local professionals who donate their time to help our actors," McIntyre said.

Those local song and dance professionals were Sheila Gephart, Val Wenner and Heather Ruane, who worked with the singers, and Tri-City choreographer Holly Campbell.

McIntyre also said she couldn't have done the show without the help of several others.

"Val Watson is a local costume designer who provided her expertise and fabulous costumes that were originally created for the Richland High production of Seussical (a couple of years ago)," she said. "It truly takes a village to produce a quality show."

Curtain time is 6:30 p.m. March 6-8 at Christ the King School, 1122 Long Ave., Richland. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors, and tickets are available at the door.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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