The University of Saint Francis' production of “Seussical the Musical” opens tonight, and director Brad Beauchamp can't wait to share what his cast and crew have been working on.
“It's a show that you just paint,” he says. “You paint with lights, you paint with the scenic design, you paint with the actors on stage, you paint with them dancing. It's such an artist's dream of a production because there's so many layers that create this show.”
The audience will recognize the characters and setting from Dr. Seuss' books. The Cat in the Hat is an emcee for the story, in which Gertrude McFuzz is infatuated with Horton the Elephant.
“Like all great stories, it's kind of a love story,” Beauchamp says.
The show has a cast of 35, including Louis Soria as the Cat, Kennedy Lomont as Gertrude and Jordan Gameon as Horton. Choreography is by Leslie Beauchamp. “Seussical” features music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, who uses some of Seuss' writings in the songs.
It is family-friendly, with a lot of color and whimsical treats for the eyes. Costumes were designed by Steven Hollenback of Indianapolis, and the scenic design is by a team of artists from University of Saint Francis' School of Creative Arts.
“They're just having a blast because they're building what was on the pages of (Seuss') books,” Beauchamp says of the scenic artists. “His drawings just explode off the page. We're trying to do that on the stage.”
He says the cast is having a lot of fun, too, as they show up every night and discover something new on the set as the crew brings the books to life.
The cast has its own challenge wrapping their tongues around Seuss' language. All the lines have to meet a certain meter, not unlike Shakespeare.
“It's challenging, but fun,” Beauchamp says. “Once you nail it, it's very hard to say it without being in that rhythm and that meter.”
The show runs about two hours. There are activities available for children during intermission, and there is a meet-and-greet with characters after each performance, with activities including photo stations.
“Seussical” runs through March 31.
– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette
If you go
What: “Seussical the Musical”
When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and March 29 and 30; 2 p.m. Sunday and March 30 and 31
Where: University of Saint Francis Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry St.
Admission: $17 adults, $15 seniors 65 and older and children 18 and younger, group rate available; 422-4226 or tickets.artstix.org