Encinal High’s “Seussical” perfect for entire family
By Sylvia Kahn
Under the ever-skillful direction of Encinal High School English and drama teacher Bob Moorhead, “Seussical the Musical” (based on many of the books by Dr. Seuss) grabs the audience from the very beginning and holds on tight through every act.
The narrator, The Cat in the Hat – played hysterically by Khye Booker – makes use of the stage, the gym and even the audience to keep the story moving. Many of your favorite Seuss characters come to life as the story unfolds. (Seuss’s famous patterns are definitely here, but the story is thankfully not told in rhyme!)
Main characters include a child named Jojo, played by Terrence Li, who is incredibly talented and was perfect as the one non-high school aged cast member. Horton the Elephant (Jonathan Jones) is charming, gentle, kind, VERY helpful – and not aware of his next door neighbor, who loves all that is wonderful about him!
Gertrude McFuzz (Nicky Reed) is fabulous as the preciously insecure bird who thinks that if her tiny tail were more adequate, Horton would notice and love her in return. Show-stopper Mayzie the bird, played by Lachelle Laulu Finley, belted out numbers and strutted her full-feathered figure, while Sour Kangaroo Kaeleigh Thorp, with “Beach Blanket Babylon”-worthy hair, was perfectly cranky.
Other leads and the ensemble cast were also great. The singing, acting, choreography and costumes were perfect for this high school production. It should be noted that the costumes were designed and made by students at Encinal High School with a big shout-out to student Troy Clinton.
There are many things that stand out about this production. (Bob Moorhead began teaching at Encinal when the parents of some of the cast were in high school at Encinal!) The show’s many themes capture the essence of Encinal, where everyone is anyone and a person’s a person no matter how small, and a beautiful rainbow can only be made with a lot of colors.
Performances are at 8 p.m. April 14-16 in the gymnasium at Encinal High School, 210 Central Avenue. Tickets are $10 for children and $12 for adults, and are available at the door.