Seussical the Musical will open a four-weekend run this Friday at The Players Guild of Dearborn, 21730 Madison (south of Outer Drive and east of Monroe, in the area of Dearborn bounded by Ford Road, Telegraph, Van Born Road, and Southfield).
The Players Guild of Dearborn will present the show at 8 p,m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, on April 29-May 1, May 6-8, May 13-15 and May 20-22. Based on the stories of Dr. Seuss, the show is full of songs and Dr. Seuss’ characters coming to life.
The Players Guild of Dearborn will present the show at 8 p,m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, on April 29-May 1, May 6-8, May 13-15 and May 20-22. Produced in cooperation with Music Theater International, and based on the stories of Dr. Seuss, the show is full of songs and Dr. Suess’ characters coming to life.
Tom Sparrow, who is the Public Relations and Marketing Governor of the Players Guild of Dearborn, explained that the story-line basically follows the two Dr. Seuss books starring Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing the Whos and also guards an egg left to his care by an irresponsible bird.
“But mixed into the play are a variety of other Dr. Seuss’ characters who aren’t necessarily in the Horton books,” Sparrow said. “Like there’s the Cat in the Hat (who serves as the musical’s narrator on stage), and there’s the Grinch, there’s a lot of characters from the Horton books who don’t approve of what Horton does, there’s Mayzie La Bird, and there’s the Sour Kangaroo and her off-spring Roo.
“There’s just a bunch of characters from the Dr. Seuss books in the show,” he said.
This is the first time that the Players Guild of Dearborn has performed Seussical the Musical, according to Sparrow, though he added there is also a junior version of the Broadway version which was performed by the Guildings a couple of years ago. Surprisingly; Sparrow observed; the book, music and lyrics were by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, “the same guys who wrote Ragtime.
“It sounds like they had a great time, because they had all kinds of band music in there, like some numbers were like salsa, a bunch came straight from ragtime, there was ballroom type of music, and there was even one lullaby—it is loaded with all kinds of music,” Sparrow said. “But the music is a lot of fun.”
However, the music will stop at times, he said, and the characters will recite a lot of rhyming dialogue that comes straight out of the Dr. Seuss books.
“For example, I’m playing the Grinch, and there’s a chorus that the Whos sing on how they celebrate Christmas everyday,” Sparrow said. “But that’s followed by ‘However—the Grinch did NOT!’”
In this family-friendly show, the Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton facing the double challenge of protecting the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, and guarding the egg abandoned by Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial; the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him.
Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant in this tale that eventually involves many of Doctor Seuss’ favorites: the Bird Girls, Vlad Vladikoff, the Wickershams, Yertle the Turtle, and all the jungle animals and citizens of Whoville. One Who, Mr. and Mrs. Mayor’s son JoJo, is sent off to military school and General Genghis Khan Schmitz for thinking too many “thinks.”
John Denwer, whose parents are members of the Guild, is playing his first role for the Guild as the character leading the whole musical, the magical Cat in the Hat. He has actually been playing the role in costume at a number of libraries in Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Taylor; Sparrow said; as members of the cast come to Story Hour to distribute Seussical the Musical bookmarkers, and do five to 10 minutes of performing to the children and their parents, talking to them about coming to the show.
“It’s been fun doing that, especially the guy playing the Cat in the Hat,” he said. “The children all try on the Cat in the Hat’s hat.
“We’ll actually have Cat in the Hat hats for sale during our shows’ intermission,” Sparrow said.
Another member of the guild, Paul Bruce, will arrange that the school where he teaches, Salina Intermediate School, will send a couple of busloads of 150-175 students to observe the Players Guild of Dearborn’s dress rehearsals, whenever the guild puts on a show suitable for that age.
“We greet the kids, and for many kids it’s really their first experience ever with live theater,” Sparrow said. “Many children, they come from homes below the poverty line, or their families are descended from Arabs, so they had not seen anything like this ever before in their lives.
“They really enjoyed our show,” he said.
The box office opens one hour prior to performance to sell tickets, or people can select their seats by going to the www,playersguildofdearborn.org website to order tickets. The tickets are priced at $20 ($18 for children). Also to order tickets (or get more information about the show), call (313) 561-TKTS.