Sept. 17, 2009
Harrisburg, PA — Theatreworks USA’s production of “Seussical,” will show audiences the “thinks you can think” when the characters from the best-loved stories of Dr. Seuss cavort in this musical caper. Two performances are scheduled for 2 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.
The afternoon features a celebration of books and reading with free events before and after each show and a photo opportunity with the “Cat in the Hat.”
An appearance from SuperReader, American Literacy Corporation’s “Super Hero,” will take place in the Studio Theatre at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. SuperReader, alter ego of Floyd Stokes, executive director of American Literacy Corporation, dons a yellow mask, a blue cape and an “R” emblazoned uniform to “save” children from a life deprived of books.
After each Theatreworks USA performance there will be a “Book and Cookie Party” in the Rose Garden adjacent to the Rose Lehrman Gallery. Books will be given to each child courtesy of the American Literacy Corporation, along with Seuss sugar cookies provided by Cookies by Design. There will also be a free photo opportunity with the “Cat in the Hat.”
Parents are responsible for their own photos and are encouraged to bring their cameras or camera phones.
Adapted from the Broadway version, “Seussical” is written by Broadway veterans Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime,” “Once on This Island,” the film “Anastasia”).
The Cat in the Hat is the host, emcee and all-around mischief-maker in this romp through the Seuss classics. When the sweet, good-natured elephant Horton hears a small cry for help coming from a small speck of dust, he promises to rescue and guard it because “a person's a person, no matter how small.”
On that small speck of dust lives JoJo, an imaginative young Who. JoJo has astounding
“thinks,” in which anything's possible, but his parents believe this creativity is inappropriate for
the son of the Mayor of Who-Ville.
Meanwhile, the one-feathered bird, Miss Gertrude McFuzz, desperately wants Horton to notice her. Maybe, she thinks, she just needs a more impressive tail. At the same time, the amazingly lazy Mayzie La Bird connives, cajoles and convinces Horton to sit on her egg while she goes off on a spree.
Will the planet of Who survive? Will Horton pay attention to Gertrude? Will Mayzie ever return for her egg? Dr. Seuss's beloved classic characters find themselves intertwined in an incredible crazy-quilt adventure, in which the power of imagination and the most miraculous “think” saves the day.
“Seussical,” with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Ahrens and Flaherty, and conception by Ahrens, Flaherty and Eric Idle (Monty Python), and was adapted from the works of Dr. Seuss. Ahrens and Flaherty’s first professional job together was writing “The Emperor’s New Clothes” for Theatreworks USA in the early 80’s. The production is directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. The scenic design is by Narelle Sissons and the costume design is by Tracy Christensen.
Theatreworks USA has a distinguished history of not only providing young audiences with their first taste of the performing arts, but also giving young actors, writers, directors, and designers an early opportunity to work in this field. Among them are four-time Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks, Robert Jess Roth (“Beauty and the Beast”), and Michael Mayer (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”); writers Marta Kauffman and David Crane (TV’s “Friends”), Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (“Avenue Q”); and Tony-winning actors Roger Bart, Chuck Cooper and John Glover. Esteemed performers F. Murray Abraham, Henry Winkler, and Judy Kuhn also got their start with Theatreworks.
Theatreworks USA is the only children’s theatre to receive both a Drama Desk and a Lucille Lortel Award. In addition, it was the recipient of a 2001 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award and in May 2000, The Actors Fund of America bestowed its Medal of Honor upon Theatreworks founders, Jay Harnick and Charles Hull.
Support for this Live at Rose Lehrman event comes from the American Literacy Corporation, PNC Bank, and Cookies by Design in Camp Hill. Media Sponsors for the event are abc27-WHTM and Central Penn Parent.
Theatreworks USA’s production of “Seussical”will be presented at 2 and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18, at Rose Lehrman Arts Center. Tickets for the one-hour show, recommended for 5 years and up, are $15 for adults, senior citizens, students and $10 ticket for children ages 5 to 12. The free pre-event performances by SuperReader begin at 1 and 3:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre. Live at Rose Lehrman Box Office phone is 717-231-ROSE (7673). Tickets are available online at www.LiveatRoseLehrman.org.
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