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Young Actors presents "Seussical"


By Tom Flanigan


Tallahassee, FL – Tallahassee's Young Actors Theatre has tackled some ambitious plays over the years. Tom Flanigan reports the group's latest offering pushes the boundaries of staging and technical production, as well as the imagination.

There are precious few Americans, young or old, who haven't spent at least a moment or two in the magical world of Dr. Seuss. His first revolutionary children's books "If I ran the Zoo" and "Horton Hears a Who" appeared in the early 1950s. His whimsical characters soon landed on television, the silver screen and, after Seuss's death in 1991, the Broadway stage. It's that work, "Seussical the Musical", that the Young Actors Theatre opens this week under the direction of Amy Leach.

"We've never done the show before at Young Actors so it kind of left us some room to play and just draw from the pictures in the books, and shows and other things and kind of use that as our jumping off point and with that -having that imagination sort of the open door - we were pretty much able to take some license there and take things that are familiar to people that people will recognize and also you know put some of our own spin on it."

One thing that can't be spun much is the pivotal part of the main character; Seuss's iconic "Cat in the Hat". Young Actors veteran Sam Skrob will be donning the whiskers, tail and goofy top hat for the role.

"The Cat in the Hat's not necessarily a cat. I don't play it like the animal, I play it more like the character and it's a very mischievous, excited character who likes to have fun, just likes to play around and have a good time."

But along with all the horseplay, Director Leach says Skrob also has to act as the productions host and master of ceremonies.

"Having the cat as sort of our narrator kind of helps tie the whole show together, because it does jump to different stories. It uses everything from Horton Hears a Who', Horton Hatches the Egg'; you hear references to the Grinch Who Stole Christmas', the Sneetches are mentioned, you meet the Whos and lots of different characters."

And the Cat in the Hat er, I mean Sam Skrob who plays the cat, says it all comes to the Young Actors Theatre stage this week.

"We open the show this Friday, November 11th and we run all the way through November 20th. We have evening performances for the public. They're on Friday and Saturday nights and we also have Sunday matinees and some evening shows. And we also have a school matinee program so schools can take field trips and come see the performance also."

Check out the web site: youngactorstheatre.com for all the info about "Seussical the Musical". Then head for the playhouse. It won't cost much money. And you'll surely have lots of good fun that is funny.