“After all those years of being stuck on a page, did you ever think you’d see me on stage?”
There will be no question in the minds of the audience, as the Cat in the Hat struts in front of them in living colour and three dimensions.
St. Jacobs Public School is bringing to life the Cat and a troupe of other Dr. Seuss characters in their spring performance of Seussical Jr. The musical is a mash-up of the plots of several popular stories combined with Broadway-style show tunes and dance routines.
“It’s kind of like you took all the stories, put them in a pot and stirred them together,” explained music teacher Lisa Shuh.
The play is a one-act version of a Broadway show that debuted in 2000 and spawned two national tours. The original version incorporates 18 Seuss books, including Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Oh the Thinks You Can Think! and The Cat in the Hat.
Shuh said fans of Seuss will see a bunch of their favourite characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie La Bird, Jojo, the Grinch and of course the Cat in the Hat.
The plot is loosely centred around Horton, who discovers the people of Whoville living in a speck of dust and attempts to protect them.
It’s been several years since St. Jacobs PS put on a play, simply because of the work involved. This year, the teachers felt they’d have time to do it and there was a group of talented students who formed the core of the cast. In total, 40 students will take to the stage and another 20 are helping out behind the scenes.
Rehearsals started in January and have been going every day of the week, during nutrition breaks and before and after school. Preparations amped up this week in advance of next week’s performances, but nobody is panicking, Shuh said.
“Everything’s on track. It’s all falling into place really nicely.”
A fast-paced show with lots of good songs, the musical should have appeal for all ages.
“I think everybody’s a closet Seuss fan,” Shuh said.
The Cat in the Hat has his own words of invitation to the audience:
“Now, imagine a curtain and what lies behind; the kind of a place you might see in your mind. … From the page to the stage, come along and enjoy — this tale of an elephant, a bird, and a boy!”
Showtime is 7 p.m. on Apr. 28 and 29. Tickets are $7 each or four for $25. For tickets and information, call the school at 519-664-2272, ext. 8003.