Amanda Lourenço as Mayzie La Bird, Argel Monte de Ramos as Horton the Elephant, Emily Matchette as Gertrude McFuzz, Jenn Suratos as Sour Kangaroo, Ema Lake as JoJo, and Amanda Russell as The Cat in the Hat in Align Entertainment’s Seussical the Musical (courtesy of Align Entertainment)
Local theatre company brings Broadway show to Burnaby
By Cheryl Minns
After a three-year, pandemic hiatus, Align Entertainment returns to the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby with the wonderfully whimsical Seussical the Musical. Filled with laughs, love, and adventure, this show is sure to entertain audiences with some of Dr. Seuss’s most popular characters, including the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and the Whos of Whoville.
The musical begins with a young boy named JoJo (played by Ema Lake) and the Cat in the Hat (Amanda Russell) thinking up the Jungle of Nool, where Horton (Argel Monte de Ramos) discovers the microscopic world of Whoville on a clover. He announces his find to the animals in the Jungle of Nool, but the animals dismiss his claims and mock him in the gospel-infused group number, “Biggest Blame Fool,” led by the Sour Kangaroo (Jenn Suratos).
Horton’s adventures continue when he has to pursue a trio of troublemaker monkeys named the Wickersham Brothers (Simon Abraham, Daniel Curalli, Thomas Schultes) through the jungle after they run off with the Whoville clover in the number, “Chasing the Whos.” The actors make great use of the show’s large, two-storey set, full of stairs, entryways, bright colours, and Dr. Seuss character art, chasing each other up, down, and all across the stage.
After Horton winds up in a strange new land after a series of mishaps, it’s up to his neighbour, a bird with only one tail feather named Gertrude McFuzz (Emily Matchette), to come to his rescue. After attempting to make herself more attractive than her rival, a popular bird with many tail feathers named Mayzie La Bird (Amanda Lourenço), to get Horton to notice her, she discovers that being herself is the only way to save Horton. The love story plot line makes this family-friendly show a great choice for couples this Valentine season.
With its improvised scenes and unscripted moments, Seussical the Musical is worth multiple viewings as it changes with each performance. During a scene at an auction house, The Cat in the Hat asks for audience participation and the responses are always different and often hilarious. During intermission, Thing 1 (Kaylen Lomas), Thing 2 (Valentina Picariello), and Horton remain on the stage doing comical routines and posing for photos with fans.
Seussical the Musical by Align Entertainment will be playing at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby until February 11. Tickets are available at AlignEntertainment.ca.