(Victorville) – The audience was riveted and some sang along as Dr. Seuss’ rhymes were brought to life in Seussical the Musical on stage at the High Desert Center for the Arts.
The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant that discovers a speck of dust containing Whos. Among them are Jojo, a Who child sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton’s attention to the speck of dust and his “loitering” care of Mayzie LaBird’s egg has elicited taunting and accusations from the rest of the animal kingdom, except for Gertrude McFuzz, who longs for his attention, and JoJo, whose “thinks” save them all in the end. Seussical is based on the works of Dr. Seuss and combines many of the author’s characters and stories into one through plotline.
The story is narrated by the Cat in the Hat, played by John Paul Vargas. He appears randomly in every scene and makes humorous comments to the audience. Over the course of the performance he plays a German doctor, a pianist, and an announcer.
Providing possibly the production’s best performance is Robert Keil Blomker as the completely lovable and dependable Horton the Elephant. Ammiel Sara Blinsmon as Gertrude McFuzz is perfectly endearing as the nerdy bird that longs to capture Horton’s heart. Her singing is clear and strong and she displays impressive comedic delivery from beginning to end. As young JoJo, the adorable Sydney Schutis sings confidently. Also supplying noteworthy performances are Chloe Anne Madison (the soulful and aptly named Sour Kangaroo), Rosalie Mastaler (as the sultry, yet irresponsible Mayzie), and the Bird Girls Kyra Glisson, Rebekah Hamrick, and Angel Rojas. The entire cast brings talent and energy to this sincere tale.
The audience was full of families. Children were thrilled when the Cat in the Hat was crawling through the audience or when other characters made their entrances from the back of the theater. Director Cherie Glisson said, “This is really a family production. We’ve got several families working together both on stage and behind the scenes. It is wonderful to have.”
Next up for the High Desert Center for the Arts is the production of Hallelujah Girls presented by the Theater Arts Guild. The show runs two weekends starting June 17th. Call 760-243-7493 for tickets.