The Broadway hit Seussical has traveled the world since its premiere in 2000. In a fun score and clever book, many of Dr. Seuss’ most popular stories come to life and are interwoven. Rockford students have been busy since their November auditions putting their unique stamp on this fun and entertaining musical.
Seussical is of course emceed by the Cat in the Hat, but includes many favorite characters including Horton (both sitting on an egg and hearing a Who), the Grinch, Gertrude McFuzz, Yertle the Turtle, and more. Nearly twenty Dr. Seuss stories are incorporated into Seussical’s plot.
Rockford’s production features many talented young actors and actresses from Rockford High School, led by senior Cash Maciel as The Cat in the Hat (understudy Harrison Witt). Central to the story is Horton the Elephant, played by junior Mitchell Todd (understudy Bradley Sinclair). Other lead roles include Gertrude McFuzz (senior Delaney Good, understudy Rachel Kreager), Mayzie LaBird (junior Baileigh Aldrich, understudy Maddy Mathias), the Sour Kangaroo (senior Madeline Fryc, understudy Carlee Bleeker), JoJo the Who (double cast with sixth graders Alex Hoffman and Sam Nelson), Mr. Mayor (senior Mathieu Hastings, understudy Kam Butler) and Mrs. Mayor (senior Eve Hillman, understudy Anna-Kristine Bakken Erichsen). The cast is made up of around 70 young men and women, supported by an equally talented student stage crew and pit orchestra.
“The students have been working extremely hard,” says director Kaelynn VanBuren, “after school, weekends, even on school vacation days!” She mentioned that one new element in this production has been the addition of flying harnesses and rigging to the stage, allowing numerous characters to literally leave the ground.
VanBuren also notes that for the first time, RHS Theatre has cast understudies for a number of lead roles. She say, “with eight performances, we know that the potential for illness increases. It also gives more of our talented students the chance to learn and grow through a lead character.” The understudies will be featured in two scheduled performances: Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2pm and Feb. 28 at 8pm.
Presenting Seussical represents a departure from the more adult-themed musicals presented at Rockford in the last few years (Hello, Dolly!, Footloose, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Les Misérables to name a few). According to VanBuren, “We always go through a long process when picking a show, no matter if it is our mainstage musical, or a class project. There are many factors we consider, such as cast size, number of featured roles, the style of the show, and most importantly, what our students will learn from this production.”
Brimming with madcap comedy, catchy songs, and beloved Seuss characters, Seussical is the perfect musical for the whole family. Music director Mandy Scott notes, “this show is bright, colorful, sweet, funny and entertaining for all ages.” Knowing this, RHS has expanded to eight performances – two consecutive weekends of four performances.
Don’t miss this classic musical in what is sure to be a fabulous performance by the talented Rockford HS students!
Dates: Friday 2/20, Saturday 2/21, Friday 2/27, Saturday 2/28 – 7pm
Saturday 2/21 & 2/28 – 2pm
Sunday 2/22 & 3/1 – 3pm
Box Office: 616-863-6031 Ext. 7087