Go and do

WHAT: “Seussical, Jr.”

WHO: Community Little Theatre’s Summer Youth Workshop

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3

TICKETS: $10. They may be ordered by calling 783-0958 or online at www.laclt.com.

Who’d a thunk there’d be such thinking in ‘Seussical,’ the musical?

AUBURN – Nobody captures the imaginations of children or adults like Dr. Seuss.

On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2-3, the pages of several beloved books by that perennially popular author and illustrator will come to life on the stage in “Seussical, Jr.,” Community Little Theatre’s Summer Youth Workshop production.

Nearly three dozen young people between the ages of 7 and 14 have been working under the direction of Linda Britt over the past six weeks.

“Seussical, Jr.” tells the story of Horton the Elephant (played by Drew Masse), who hears a small voice crying for help from an unseen place. Horton befriends a small boy, Jojo (Madison Leslie) of the planet Who, who saves the planet from an unhappy fate.

Along the way, the ever-present Cat in the Hat (Ben Dostie) encourages Jojo to make mischief by, of all things, thinking.

Also on stage are two singing and dancing birds, the irrepressible Mayzie (Paige Weber) and the shy and insecure Gertrude (Megan Coddington), along with their backup singers (Kristen Cornelio, Olivia Mayo, Riley McCurdy, and Gabby Smith). They distract Horton from his mission, but he perseveres, knowing that, after all, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Other principal roles include Mr. and Mrs. Mayor (Zachary Fisher and Ally Laverdiere), the Sour Kangaroo (Emily Burke) and the Wickershams, who are mischievous creatures always monkeying around (Grace Adkins, Anna Beaudet, Jayra Bray and Sophie Messina).

The rest of the cast consists of jungle creatures and Whos played by Dante Basket, Luka Basket, Grace Beaudet, Kristina Cornelio, Michael Danforth, Taylor Depot, Hannah Farrington, Kylie Fuller, Peyton Fuller, Danica Hemond, Alexandria Hunt, Ruth Hurd, Grace Kenneally, Abbi Langelier, Emily Verreault, Emma Vierling and Sophie Wood.

Britt said the young actors have a broad range of experience. Some are new and others have appeared in regular season Community Little Theatre shows.

“We have several kids returning from last summer,” Britt said. She counted 14 who are new to the CLT summer program and noted that most of them have had some experience in school plays. Madison Leslie, who is Jojo, and Emily Burke, who plays the Sour Kangaroo, are both 8-year-olds and are returning after last year’s show.

“I think some of them find it’s harder than they thought to sing in front of their peers. It’s easier for the younger ones,” she said.

Britt also noted that the cast recently had its first rehearsals on the stage at Great Falls Performing Arts Center.

“They were amazed at how big it is,” she said. “They were surprised at the sound of their own voices and how they must fill up all that space.”

“All of them end up being surprised by what they can achieve. We’re not afraid to challenge them and they all come out of it with a real sense of accomplishment,” she added.

The musical director for “Seussical, Jr.” is Danielle Sabine, a recent University of Southern Maine graduate and new music teacher for Walton School. Angela Simpson is choreographer, assisted by Michael Weber. They are both students at Edward Little High School. Additional help is provided by Abby Sherwood. Ruth Burke is costumer; Stan Spilecki is set designer; Michelle Washburn is lighting designer; and Chad Gagnon is technical director.

This family-friendly show is appropriate for all ages. Britt said it should keep even the youngest child entertained with hummable tunes and lively dances.

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