Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fairmont State Masquers and Town & Gown theatre are joining to present a holiday presentation of "Seussical, the Musical," directed by Dr. Francene Kirk.

"Seussical" is based on several of the characters imagined into reality by Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel, one of the most popular authors in the history of American publishing. Writing chiefly for children under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, he published more than 50 books, won a Pulitzer Prize, three Academy Awards, two Peabody Awards and two Emmys.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 1-3, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, and at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 8-10. A sign language interpreter will be present at the Dec. 2 show to assist the hearing impaired. All shows will be in Wallman Hall Theatre. For tickets, call the Box Office at (304) 367-4240.

"Seussical" follows the adventures of Horton, an elephant, who one day hears voices coming from a speck of dust. He soon discovers that within this tiny speck exists the smallest planet in the universe. Upon this planet, live a race of tiny creatures known as Whos. Although ridiculed by the other animals in the Jungle of Nool for believing in something he cannot see, Horton stubbornly persists in the belief that the Whos exist.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Who are having some adventures of their own, including a war over which side of the bread is buttered. Jojo, the smallest child in the city of Who, parallels Horton's journey as he is ostracized for the unpopular act of thinking--an activity discouraged by the parents and teachers of Whoville. But, in spite of these obstacles, Jojo and Horton attempt to do what they think is right, and together they sing the duet "Alone in the Universe." Their paths, however, will not be easy. Horton is sold to the Circus McGurkus and eventually is on trial before Judge Yertle the Turtle. The other animals of the jungle come to understand, as Horton has always known, that "a person's a person no matter how small." During the course of the story, the Cat in the Hat pops in and out of scenes, narrating, playing numerous characters and helping the younger members of the audience keep track of what's going on.

The "Seussical" cast includes Jeffrey Carder of Fairmont, (The Cat in the Hat); Kim Boyce of Fairmont, (Sour Kangaroo); Sarah Rowan of Morgantown, (Mayzi); Shawn Dunn of Fairmont, (Major); Brady Dunn and Jenny Bundy of Fairmont, (Jolo); Jason Young of Bridgeport, (Horton); Dani Brake of Fairmont, (Gertrude); Kathy Dunn of Fairmont, (Mrs. Mayor); and Steve McElroy of Fairmont, (General Schmitt). The complete cast comprises 32 additional members. Dr. Valarie Huffman is Musical Director.

The score and libretto are by the Tony-award-winning team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, who conceived the project with the assistance of Monty Python's Eric Idle. "Seussical the Musical" opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York on Nov. 20, 2000.