As relevant today, as they were over a half a century ago, the stories of Theodor Seuss Geisel ( March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991), aka Dr. Seuss still capture the hearts of the young and not so young. Marriott Theatre's current production of "Seussical the Musical", celebrates the power of imagination mixed with loyalty and compassion. The play, based on 14 Dr. Seuss stories, draws heavily on “Horton Hears a Who,” “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Gertrude McFuzz.” It has been adapted for young audiences from the Broadway musical "Seussical".
The show opens with the cast singing “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think,” as the Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Horton the Elephant, his friends and "the places they go" as they journey from the Jungle of Nool, through the mountains and across the ocean, to help a young girl named Jojo bring harmony back to the tiny planet of Who. Along the way, the audience meets the tiny Whos, harmonizing birds, sour kangaroos, and trouble-making monkeys. "Seussical the Musical", is directed and choreographed by Jeff Award-winner Rachel Rockwell, with musical direction by Ryan T. Nelson. The colorful costumes designed by Nancy Missimi; spectacular lighting by Jesse Klug; sound design by Bob Gilmartin; and the four piece live orchestra conducted by Jeff Bell add to the big-time feel of the production.
The show runs a kid-friendly one hour, plus a 15-minute optional post-show q & a session. The six-year-old that accompanied me to the production (pictured above) recommends staying for the q & a portion which he found to be enlightening--especially the part about how long the actors practice and how the special effects are created. He recommends the production for "ages 4 and up". I agree, having noticed some younger children in the audience becoming restless and disruptive. In observing my six-year-old guest--I saw that he was engaged throughout the production, clapping his hands, moving his arms to the music, and craning his neck to see all the action. If you are bringing children, not familiar with Dr. Seuss, you may want to read some of the books listed above and visit the interactive Seuss website so that they will be able to identify the characters on stage. There are also many Dr. Seuss smart phone apps available ranging from $.99 to $4.99.
Daily performances of Seussical the Musical at the Marriott Theatre are Tuesday through Sunday at 10a.m., plus 12:30p.m. performances on Saturdays through December 31, 2011. Single ticket prices are $15 per person (plus tax and handling fees) and can be purchased by phone or in person at the Marriott Theatre Box Office (847) 634 0200. They can also be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com. Groups of 20 or more receive a discount; call the group sales department for pricing at 847-634-5909. The theater is located at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire at Half-Day Rd. (Route 22) between Edens Expressway and the Tri-State tollway (I-94/I-294). Free parking is available at all shows.