Seussical – predominantly a children’s musical – is a firm favourite with school and community groups.
Written by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty and based on the famous books of Dr. Seuss (including Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch, to name a few) the show is playing at Brisbane Arts Theatre, 13 years after its original Broadway debut.
Upon entry, the foyer was decorated brightly with the well loved images of Dr Seuss, making the intimate theatre a friendly and lively haven for the near-full audience on opening night.
Chelsea Widgett, Richard Hunt and Scott Lymbery’s bright and practical set was well designed and the use of ubiquitous Dr Seuss style trees provided the backdrop, obscuring the band.
The many young children in cast all performed solidly, and Lauren Ware who was fabulous as Gertrude McFuzz was a highlight. Chris Vagg as Cat in the Hat warmed up as the show progressed. Although no microphones were used for any of the performers in spoken dialogue or song (an unusual occurrence these days) most performers projected their voices well and the stage craft displayed was top notch.
Dr Seuss stories are ridiculously over the top, and a suitably ‘OTT’ wardrobe could really make the show zing. Unfortunately, the segments of costume that were used in this production were sufficient enough to loosely recognise who was who, but something a bit more elaborate would have just added that extra bit of oomph.
Aside from an occasional lighting cue mishap, the stage was lit very well and the other production elements, including the capable band, supported the performers (who were quite obviously having a ball) adequately.
All in all, the evening was fun and lighthearted. The energy onstage was palpable and that’s exactly how it should be.
Suessical is an enjoyable evening out for the whole family and will be running at the Brisbane Arts Theatre until 20 July.