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Lovable pachyderm stars in Seussical

Jed Massengale, Alexander Toney, Jules Toney, Megan LeMay and Desirae Payne sing “How Lucky You Are” in rehearsal for  “Seussical the Musical,” which opens July 30 at Whidbey Playhouse.  - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
Jed Massengale, Alexander Toney, Jules Toney, Megan LeMay and Desirae Payne sing “How Lucky You Are” in rehearsal for “Seussical the Musical,” which opens July 30 at Whidbey Playhouse.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

The Whidbey Playhouse will transform the stage into a mini-Whoville for its production of the Broadway show “Seussical the Musical,” opening July 30.

The play brings together about 20 different Dr. Seuss stories, with a focus on Horton the Elephant.

“It’s a play by kids for kids and completely family-oriented,” director Brooke Smith said.

Working with a cast of 25, Smith has things well organized without sacrificing a massive energy level.

The cast ranges from ages 5 to 16, and includes all skill levels.

“Seussical” chronicles the adventures of Horton who hears a cry from a tiny speck on a bit of clover. He’s convinced there is life on the speck and he vows to protect it.

Unfortunately, no one believes him.

“A person’s a person no matter how small,” Horton says tenderly, played by Zack Nixon.

Alyssa Schiffman is Horton’s nemesis, Sour Kangaroo, who wants to trash his clover and the tiny Whos’ home.

Horton is also distracted by Mayzie La Bird (Katherin Limpin) and is bamboozled into sitting on her egg, instead of protecting his small friends.

The innocent Gertrude McFuzz (Zoe Lowther), who fell in love with Horton, comes to his rescue. And consistently provides pretty vocals.

From the look of production, it makes it easy for the cast to get into the show. The costumes and set are bright, colorful and suitably Suess-y. A nod for organization also has to go to choreographer Dino Rendon, who designed kid-friendly dance numbers.

The show is about two hours long, and never loses the feel that everyone on stage is having the time of their lives.

Schiffman, 13, says she recently became transfixed with the Good Doctor.

“When I was young I didn’t pay much attention to Dr. Seuss,” Schiffman said. “Now, I’m kind of obsessed with it. Yesterday I even bought Dr. Seuss socks.”

With music, humor, drama and color, “Seussical” pulled into focus and moved along merrily. This is a kooky, fun children’s play done right.

Tickets for “Seussical the Musical” are now available at the Box office, 730 SE Midway Blvd. in Oak Harbor, or by calling 360-679-2237.

The show opens on July 30 and runs through Aug. 9. Thursday and Friday shows begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m. All tickets are reserved seating and priced at $10.

Visit www.whidbeyplayhouse.com.

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