That rambunctious Cat in the Hat kept everyone laughing and Horton endeared himself to the audience as Eastchester Middle School Players performed Seussical Jr. during the weekend of January 11 and 12.
The musical teaches valuable lessons of loyalty, redemption and self-worth that can be difficult concepts for young people to grasp but Dr. Seuss' bright colors and odd characters accomplish the task seamlessly.
"I love the theater so much because it grows confidence and teaches children about responsibility and community," said Director Alex Fletcher. "Every year, I see shy kids come out and audition. By the time the curtain rises, those same kids have come out of their shells and the pride of their accomplishment shines brightly on their faces."
Seventh-grader William Anderson played the Cat in the Hat and took the role to heart. "It is such a fun and energetic role. I was always singing and moving. I even went up into the balcony! I really enjoy the theater because I can express myself more than in school."
Joli Flynn portrayed Gertrude McFuzz, the fuzzy yellow bird who falls in love with Horton. "The show makes you think about life and what kids and teens experience. What I like about it is that I can make the character my own," said Flynn who is in eighth grade.
Fletcher added, "The story of Horton, Gertrude, Jojo and the Who's helps the children see the value in staying true to yourself."
Special thanks to Musical Director Erin Bonner, Set and Light Director John Gwardyak, Choreographer Kim Giannelli and BOCES Cosmetology for hair and make-up design.
Book by: John Aherns and Stephen Flaherty; Music by: Stephen Flaherty; Lyrics by: Lynn Aherns; Conceived by: Lynn Aherns, Stephen Flaherty, Eric Idle; Based on the works of Dr. Seuss; Music Supervised, Adapted and Produced by Bryan Louiselle. Seussical Jr, is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.