Extravagant. Chaotic. Magical. Crazy. Exciting. Colorful. According to cast members, that’s what the audience is in for when they attend McCaffery Middle School’s performance of “Seussical the Musical” this week.
The 59-member cast and six-student stage crew have been practicing two hours a day, four times a week for more than three months and are eager to let their hard work show during the May 23 and 24 performances. Shows will also be running in the mornings on Tuesday through Friday for more than 2,000 Galt elementary school students.
After all those hours of practice, it started to feel real for students during the dress rehearsal on Thursday, May 16.
“You feel like a character at first, but when you get the costume and the makeup, you’re really into it,” said Catalina Mejia, who plays one of the Bird Girls. “It’s really cool.”
The audience can expect to see beloved Dr. Seuss characters like Horton, Mayzie Bird, the Grinch, and all the Whos among the characters onstage. But if you know your Seuss, you’ll rightly recall that those characters don’t star in any one book.
“[Seussical] is a whole bunch of Dr. Seuss books smashed together,” explained Sierra Dunnagan, who plays the Cat in the Hat and serves as the narrator throughout the show.
“It’s so crazy, exciting and all over the place, but you, at the end, get it,” said actress Maggie Newbold.
And the audience should come prepared. While the cast insists that the story does come together in the end, audience members should be familiar with some of Dr. Seuss’s most popular stories before they arrive.
“When we’ve done the show in the past and when I’ve seen professional productions of it, I have heard that sometimes even adults will have trouble following the story just because there’s so many different books woven together,” said Arianne Aguilera, who has worked alongside Director Heidi Freedman as music director on McCaffery’s plays for the past 12 years. “But the three main storylines are ‘Horton Hears a Who’, ‘Horton Hatches an Egg’, and ‘Gertrude McFuzz’. There’s references to a lot of other stories, but if you know [those], the whole thing will make a lot more sense.”
Seussical was first performed by McCaffrey students almost 10 years ago, and the play was brought back this year with bigger and bolder sets and costumes.
“The characters are so much fun and the colors are so bright. The music is really upbeat. The storylines have some good lessons for kids,” Aguilera said. “There are so many things about it that are positive.”
“Seussical the Musical” will be showing at 7 p.m. on May 23 and 24 at McCaffrey Middle School. General admission is $5 at the door.