08/01/03
"Seussical"
    by John Cech

Brief sound clip

That's David Shiner as the Cat in the Hat, along with the chorus line from the musical, "Seussical," which made its appearance on Broadway a couple of years ago and has now arrived in CD form. I don't know about you, but I've never felt that Seuss had to leave the page to be somehow better or more complete or more inspiring. In fact, there's already a ton of energy in the playful language, surrealist art, and fantastical characters of Seuss's books. The tales themselves are, for the most part, built on elegantly simple, straight-ahead morals that are still as urgent today as they were three thousand years ago when Aesop perfected the fable. In "Seussical" the musical, however, there's the matter of finding a story line that will somehow weave together nearly a dozen elements of Seuss's best-known tales, including: The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, the two Horton the Elephant books, Gertrude McFuzz, and The Places You'll Go. Enter Horton, played by Kevin Chamberlin, who steadfastly protects his speck of clover and all the Whos on it. He and his soul-mate, Gertrude McFuzz (a bird who has undergone a radical and unhappy makeover), played by Janine LaMama, carry the weight of the muscial on their shoulders. In the end, I think Seuss would approve of the tender, simple moral that Horton and Gertrude sing their final duet about:

Brief sound clip

Copyright 2003 John Cech

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Tuesday, 17-Jun-2003 15:44:28 EDT


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