Highly Recommended ***** The Holiday season is here and the holiday shows begin to open, one after another. Yes, we all “need a little Christmas”, but does a Holiday show, need to be about a holiday at all? I think that the shows being offered at this time of year should be family fare that allows the family to attend live theater together and perhaps talk a little about what they saw. I think that Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire must agree (at least to a point- the show at night is “Elf” which has a moral, but is very “Christmas”) as it’s family show is “Seussical” a delightful one hour plus musical written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (the creators of “Ragtime”). It takes us into the world of Dr. Seuss and 14 of his wonderful stories that teach us about friendship, compassion, loyalty, bravery, and of course, the power of one’s imagination.
Directed by Jeff Award winner Rachel Rockwell with music by Ryan T. Nelson, this adorable story is narrated by who other than The Cat In The Hat, played to playful perfection by George Keating. It is almost as if this role was written with him in mind. Of course our hero, Horton the Elephant ,is played by another bit of perfect casting, Michael Aaron Lindner- he is lovable and when he sings ” a person’s a person, no matter how small”, we truly feel the heart and soul of the message. This is a play filled with messages, but in a way that the little ones can truly understand. It is also perfect for talking about topics that we might choose to ignore. such as bullying (which is a major problem in our world today).
Part of what Marriott Theatre does with its program “for Young Audiences” is to expose youngsters to attending “live” theater and to learning the values of being a theater patron. This being said, moms and dads- Grandpas and grandmas- set the example for them. Do not use your phone during this short interlude from everyday life! Make this a special time for you and your loved one and make it better for those around you and in the show. These are talented performers who work hard to bring a work of art to you- enjoy what they do. At the end of the show, if you do not have to run off, try staying the 15 extra minutes to meet the players, learn more about what it takes to do a show and listen as the brightest of kids ask questions about what they just experienced. These are memories that will last for many years. Digest them to the fullest.
As always, Marriott brings us a first class production using simple set pieces (because they are in-the-round) and great props (Jeff Kmiec), colorful costumes (Nancy Missisi) solid lighting (Greg Hofmann) and perfect sound ( Bob Gilmartin). Patti Garwood is responsible for making the music memorable. As mentioned earlier, Rachel Rockwell’s smooth direction and choreography, as always, makes for a solid production from the opening number, where we meet our “Cat” thru the 60 plus minutes of story-telling through words and music. A powerhouse of a cast makes the show a true blast: Stephanie Binetti as “Amazing” Mayzie;Alexis Rogers as “Sour Kangaroo”; the adorable Landree Fleming as Gertrude McFuzz and the role of our “Who” , Jojo, the cutest little “Who” is played by either Ava Morse or Sage Harper. The ensemble of other players are Eric Lewis, Johanna McKenzie Miller, Samantha Pauly, Brandon Springman and Liam Quealy. All dynamic players!
“Seussical” the Musical will be performed at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire thru December 30th with performances most Tuesdays thru Sundays at 10 a.m. and an occasional 12:30 p.m. performance. For more exact info call the box office at 847-634-0200 or visit www.MarriotTheatre.com. Tickets are $17.23 including tax and fees and of course there is lots of free parking at Marriott Theatre located at ten Marriott Drive on the grounds of the resort in Lincolnshire. (Just south of Half Day Road/Route 22 and east of Milwaukee Avenue/Route 21)
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Seussical”