REVIEW: A Fantastical Musical Extravaganza!

If you open your mind
Oh, the thinks you will find…
You’ve got a mind
that is one of a kind
It’s time to open the locks
and think out of the box

—Dr Seuss

And that is exactly what happens when Dr Seuss’s colourful characters take us on a whimsical journey through myriad worlds; from the Jungle of Nool to Circus McGurkus to the invisible planet of the Who. Worlds as silly and as clever as Dr Seuss!

The months of rehearsal were obvious with such a professional performance filled with talent and energy. The characters made us laugh and cry; we wanted to shout “Yes!!” and “Boo!!” and “Don’t change, Gertrude McFuzz!!”

Asked to put our inner-Grinch on hold and celebrate family, community, friendship, and loyalty, Horton (played by Caleb Marsters) convinced us that: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Determination and compassion leads the elephant to the aid of the Who families and to care for Mayzie Labird’s egg. Well done! You ably portrayed big-hearted Horton with voice and action, Caleb.

Mian George, you swept us along with your exuberant interpretation of The Cat in the Hat (we loved your conducting!!). Your performance as narrator (plus other minor parts) was giddy, bubbly, priceless!

Lola Cantrill (Jojo) you certainly deserved the award for ‘Thinker Non-Stop’! Your interpretation of imaginative, misunderstood, Jojo was fabulous: “Oh, the places I’ll go,” and “I’ve got brains in my head/And feet in my shoes/So steer yourself any direction you choose/Anything’s possible.”

Nadia Siddans’ Gertrude McFuzz (Horton’s shy, kind neighbour with ‘one droopy-droop feather’), endeavours to help him, admiring his character and compassion. Initially, she lacks confidence and takes drastic measures to change herself, but eventually she comes to believe in her true self—a timely reminder for us all! A delightful performance, Nadia.

The music was fun, vibrant, and expertly performed. The demanding score, featuring ragtime to rock, wove the stories together. Who wouldn’t feel touched by the haunting ballad between JoJo and Horton, “All Alone in the Universe”? Many an audience member would have fallen asleep singing “How lucky you are” or “Anything’s possible!”

Costuming and makeup, too, were colourful and over-the-top perfection! They helped create a wonderful, imaginative world in which the cast could play out the action, interaction, and message of this brilliant piece of musical theatre. Equally so, the props. Clever and true to the Seuss aesthetic, they gave us entree into a new reality.

The dedication of the cast to their craft was also evident in the choreography, both demanding and well-executed. We were right there, feeling the anguish and drama of Who families as they clung to their turbulent microscopic planet as it was carelessly tossed around.

It was a wonderful treat to witness Seussical, an endearing, charming, heart-warming, family-friendly show. Cast members, crew, musicians, directors, and many, many other behind-the-scenes creators brought this script, set, and score to life. Accolades to BAC Secondary! Thank you. Through your hard work and dedication, and the story you told, we caught a glimpse of our Creator God, and saviour, Jesus.

If we can find it, then all will be well
They say breezes are warm there
And people are kind
Maybe it’s something like heaven…
I’ll be home with you…
All for you
There is nothing that I wouldn’t
and I couldn’t
and I haven’t gone through

Dr Seuss

By Carol Bacon
Retired Head of Department, English
BAC Archives Coordinator