For the past two weekends, TheKid has been earning service hours by volunteering as a stagehand/cast babysitter at a local Catholic grade school musical: “Seussical Jr.”
Other than driving him back and forth to that school 3 zip codes away, and financing Candygrams for his friends in the cast and fast-food dinner on a double-show Saturday, I had considered myself done. I didn’t have to sell the ‘grams or the soft pretzels; I didn’t have to hang up costumes or fold programs. And honestly, I wasn’t going to go to the show. For all I knew, TheKid was backstage the whole time, “threatening the little kids with a squirt gun” when they got antsy. I wouldn’t see him (or his handiwork) at all.
And then he tells me he’s “in” the show (translation: he runs onstage in one scene and shoots a water gun at Horton the Elephant) so I have to come and watch.
I admit, I was a reluctant audience member. But this show was captivating, and I’m glad I went. The kids did a great job, their Seussian hairstyles were hilarious and fun, and the music was catchy.
Based on everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss books, “Seussical the Musical” is a mashup of stories featuring the Cat in the Hat as the narrator who gets in on the action sometimes, Horton the Elephant, Yertle the Turtle, Daisy-Head Mayzie, and many others. It’s been a while since I’ve been immersed in Dr. Seuss, but the whole show is in his trademark anapestic tetrameter, and I was thrilled to hear an entire song based on my favorite Dr. Seuss book of all time: McElligot’s Pool!
There were nods to so many Seuss favorites in this show. But the storyline is what really got me.
“Seussical” is the most pro-life musical I’ve ever seen–two pro-life subplots, no waiting!
Based on Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg, both these subplots involve the kindhearted elephant who’s “faithful, 100 percent” to the commitments he makes. Horton responds to a call for help from what appears to be nothing but a speck of dust, but he recognizes that there is a whole tiny world on that speck, filled with tiny people and tiny families and they deserve to be protected. He’s ridiculed for this, and some hooligans steal the clover on which he’s settled the speck of dust for safekeeping, but Horton will stop at nothing to save that tiny world.
In the middle of all this, Mayzie, the vain, flighty mean-girl bird, takes advantage of Horton’s helpfulness and takes off for the tropics while Horton babysits the egg on her nest–for almost a year, in all kinds of weather, the whole time worrying about the Whos on that clover somewhere.
Throughout the show, the refrain “A person’s a person, no matter how small” was constant.
If you get the chance to see this show performed, go see it. “Seussical the Musical” features life-affirming messages in a brightly-colored, rhyming package.
Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS