'SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL': Theatre Review by Jillian Baker
When you think of children’s literature, a name that almost immediately springs to mind is Dr. Seuss. His imaginative exploration of a world unencumbered by the mundane creates a colorful and vivid stage upon which many of the world’s harshest realities are played. It is this world, and all of it’s truly bizarre inhabitants that Western’s Althouse College has attempted to capture with their production of Seussical the Musical. Co-Directors Sarrah Farrant and Ian Campbell brought to the stage all of most incredible elements of Seuss’ world, creating a vision which was impossible to tear your eyes away from.
Upon entering Althouse College’s auditorium, the eye is immediately drawn to the impeccable set design. The whimsical shapes and designs and colours of Seuss’ world have been marvelously brought to life by a group of almost 20 designers; and with multiple orifices serving as entrances for characters, the set dominated and controlled what might otherwise have been a chaotic narrative. With characters of all shapes, sizes and species emerging all over the stage, the set acted as a jungle gym of sorts (fitting, as the play is set in the fantastical Jungle of Nool) propelling and enhancing the performance of all of actors that graced the stage. Nestled in among the intricately plotted structures on the stage were the members of the band, whose live presence on the stage brought a whole new layer of life and excitement to the already very lively production. This being said, the production lacked stage monitors meaning that as much as the band’s presence on the stage added to the over all energy of the performance, it did inhibit the singers on stage, who at times neither followed the rhythm nor the key of the music being played behind them.
Technical hiccups aside, the narrative is an exciting plot with incredible music and impressive choreography. We follow Jojo (Jillian Adams), a daydreamer whose big ideas get her into trouble. Adams’ strong vocals and big smile lent to the lovable and warm character as she passes through various trials set to her by the