NEW CASTLE – For the holiday season, the New Castle Playhouse is presenting the whimsical "Seussical the Musical."
The unforgettable Dr. Seuss characters will come alive including Horton, the compassionate elephant; Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie La Bird and Sour Kangaroo, the cynical matriarch of the jungle. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, Dr. Seuss was a storyteller and everyone enjoys a good story.
Opening on Friday, the musical comedy by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is sure to entertain. ,
Producer Vaughn Hudspath said he is thrilled to have Brent Rodgers returning to the Playhouse after directing "A Chorus Line" a few years ago because he really is one of the premiere directors in the region.
Rodgers said they are celebrating being out of the pandemic with a cast of 40, students and adults, who represent what community theater is all about.
"I love this show because it allows for a lot of creativity and flexibility with all the Seuss characters played by highly talented actors from Lawrence and Beaver counties," he said.
"It wouldn't be Christmas without a visit from the Grinch and Cindy Lou," Rodgers added.
The iconic Cat in the Hat, the narrator, is played by Alex Hazen of New Brighton who recently played Riff Raff in "The Rocky Horror Show."
The Cat in the Hat also appears as minor characters Doctor Dake during "Amazing Gertrude" and "All for You" and others. The cat may not have nine lives, but he has a lot of roles.
Hazen describes himself as a singer/dancer who is honing his acting skills as the highly energetic Cat in the Hat.
"I'm having a blast. It's a demanding part because he is all over the place, but I'm enjoying it," he said.
Hudspath said Rocco Siok, a fourth-grade student at Riverside Middle School will charm the audience in two roles, playing one of the Cadets and a Who from Whoville.
Hudspath discovered Rocco when he was looking for a performer, between 7 and 9 years old, who could sing, dance and act for the musical "Matilda." Rocco was 8 years old in the third grade and could do it all.
"When I met him I literally had a deja vu moment. It took me back over 25 years ago when I met Blake Stadnik, also in the third grade who could do it all. Blake went on to be on television, a renowned singer and nationally known dancer. Watch Rocco, he can do it all," Hudspath said.
"I encourage everyone to come and be truly entertained. You'll leave with a smile on your face," Rodgers said.
What: "Seussical the Musical"
Where: New Castle Playhouse, 202 E. Long Ave., New Castle
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 18.
Admission: Adults $16, seniors and full-time students $13, children 12 and under $11. For reservations, call (724) 654-3437 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Dr. Seuss characters celebrated in New Castle Playhouse's 'Seussical the Musical'