Review: ‘Seussical’ the mighty musical

children’s theatre
“Seussical the Musical”
Music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, directed by Wayne Shepherd
At Belconnen Theatre until January 25.
Reviewed by Helen Musa

Steve Galinec as Horton.

Steve Galinec as cuddly Horton.

ICKLE Pickle Productions moves into a higher gear than normal with this enjoyable “theatre for young audiences” version of the popular Dr Seuss musical.

Largely based on “Horton hears a Who” and “Horton Hatches an Egg”, it centres on the lovable elephant Horton showing us the way to humanity.

Leading the cast are Adam Salter as the Cat in the Hat/Narrator, sharing the stage with the vivacious and outgoing Kaitlin Nihill as JoJo, who serves as both Narrator and a “Who”, and Steven Galinec playing the cuddly Horton with an American accent.

Other standouts were Jenny Watson as Horton’s sincere avian girlfriend Gertrude McFuzz, Sarah Hull as the Sour Kangaroo and Debra Byrne as Mayzie la Bird.

Ickle Pickle veterans Matt and Ben Hardy add weight to the lively supporting cast, while the chorus of showbiz “birds” reflect the professionalism of both choreographer Talisha Jackson and costume designer Janette Humphrey. Jeff Young leads a diverting entr’acte of circus thrills and skills.

Director Wayne Shepherd has pulled out all the stops for “Seussical”, with bubbles, stick puppets and an amusing set, while steering the large cast to high-quality performances.

With no fewer than 22 musical numbers expertly directed by Susan Davenport and sung by the largely young cast, this is an accessible hour-long entertainment with a near-perfect balance of diversions for adults and children.

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