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June 14, 2013

Sooner Theatre’s Seussical whimsy delights

NORMAN — The fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza of “Seussical the Musical” is kicking off the Sooner Theatre’s summer theater series this month with eight performances.

A cast of 63 third to seventh grade students are taking on the shortened TYA edition of this colorfully imaginative tale to bring to life favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination — Jojo.

“We want the audience to feel the energy the students bring, to enjoy the fun songs of the beloved tales that we have all grown up with,” Co-Camp Director Melany Pattison said. “The students get to be a character that is totally unusual and quirky. The music is challenging and catchy and at times funky. It is a non-stop show with basically all singing and dancing and very little dialogue.”

The story centers around Horton the Elephant, who finds himself faced with a double challenge — not only must he protect his tiny friend Jojo (and all the invisible Whos) from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird.

Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him, the only one who recognizes “his kind and his powerful heart.” Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant, in a story that makes you laugh and cry.

All cast members auditioned for and were selected to perform in the theater’s summer production camp. Cast members are primarily from the south metro, including Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman.

“‘Seussical the Musical,’ was a great choice for us. Children rarely do the show because it is a challenge, but we have such talented students that are involved with our studio program, we knew we had all of the characters covered,” Pattison said.

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