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Southside Theatre Guild1
Average Rating Given : 4.00000
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REVIEWS

Seussical, by Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty; Music by Stephen Flaherty; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Co-Conceived by Eric Idle; Based on works by Dr. Seuss
a Seussical Success!
Monday, August 1, 2011
4.0
Iíve seen a few productions at Southside Theatre Guild, and I have to say, this is one of (if not THE) best that Iíve seen. So much so, that I created this account because I feel like this show should get the accolades it deserves! Is the show perfect? No, but it has lots of heart and the performances from the leading players rival any professional production. I turned my program in to be recycled, so the only info I have is the info on this website, and I donít think it lists everyone involved in the show, so please forgive me if I forget someone!

First of all: The set. Wow. Southside really outdid themselves with this one. Itís beautiful, colorful, functional and completely transports you into the world of Seuss! The lighting. Well, this is one aspect of the show that could use some work. Lots of cues were late and even when they were on time, lots of times the stage was left very dim and plain. This show is SO colorful and bright, itís a shame the lighting doesnít really reflect whatís happening on stage. Costumes. The costuming in this show is fantastic! Beautiful colors and patterns that really evoke the mood of Seuss.

The actors. Diane Mitchell is a delightful Cat in the Hat. Something about her stage presence is just captivating as she navigates this difficult role with ease. She changes characters and costumes at the drop of a hat and interacts with the audience in a few very funny bits. I really canít imagine a better Cat in the Hat! JoJo is played by Olivia Wernecke. I will say this now: This girl is one to watch. She is already a star. Such commanding stage presence at such a young age with a beautiful voice and acting chops to boot. It doesnít hurt that she is just so ADORABLE. Horton is played by Stephen Alan Odom. Odom completely embodies the elephant with a big heart. Costumed in a mechanicís jumpsuit, he has more than a few touching moments and he does such a great job of evoking sympathy from the audience. Having seen another community theater production of Seussical in recent years, it was a welcome change to hear a Horton with a pretty singing voice. He really makes his ballads soar and does a great job of using his voice to tug on the heartstrings. Chelsie Boyd plays the awkward and always loveable Gertrude Mcfuzz. She, along with Stephanie Earle who plays Mayzie, find such great moments of humor and really use them effectively. Ms. Boyd really lights up the stage and some my personal favorite moments involved her character. It is great to see her really let go toward the end of Act II in the song when she finally finds Horton. She is another one with such a beautiful voice. I found myself looking through my program at intermission to remind myself if Gertrude had another song so I could hear her voice some more! Stephanie Earle plays the loud and proud, Mayzie - a great counterpart to the shy, introverted, Gertrude. Ms. Earle has a very commanding presence and she has a few really funny moments the times she is on stage. She (and Horton) really show their comedic chops in a hilarious exchange where she convinces him to sit on her egg.

I wasnít planning on mentioning every actor in the show, but I really canít conclude this review without mentioning some of the other key players. Jared Wright and Allegra Whitney delight as the Mayor and his wife. They have such natural chemistry and such beautiful voices. They both really shine every time they are on stage Ė perfect casting with these two! Sam Gentry also does a great job as the General. He comes across a little insane and it works perfectly for the character! (It was also nice to see him change characters and let loose as the Judge in the court scene.) As I was mentioning beautiful voices earlier, I would be remiss if I left out SynDee Acevedo as the Sour Kangaroo. She doesnít get a ton of stage time, but she plays such an important role. She has a voice that shakes the rafters and an attitude that reaches just as far Ė what a powerhouse! The three bird girls (Rachel DelGuardio, Whitney Minor, and Gretchen Swanson) are often in the background, but donít go unnoticed! They all have such beautiful voices and their harmonies were always spot-on! The 3 Wickershams (Kelsey Shoemaker, Justin Duhon, and John-Luke Pollock) unfortunately donít fair as well in their roles. They have great energy, but their voices just donít match up the level set by all the other main actors. It is also a shame to hear such great harmony from the three girls and then not hear the same from the monkeys. This is a minor quibble, however, and they, (along with everyone else on stage) is working so hard to make this show great.

Okay, now Iíve been through every actor listed on this site! Overall, this really is a great show and huge success for Southside Theatre Guild. There are only 3 more performances and I highly recommend that everyone check this show out before it closes. Like I said, I saw another production of Seussical in recent years at another company and this show DEFINITELY surpasses that one by a mile. Congratulations to everyone involved in the show, you guys have a hit!

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