Sunday, September 25, 2011

Seussical the Musical – A Teacher’s Review

Teacher Ia at Seussical the Musical

Several friends and parents have asked me if I watched Seussical the Musical and my answer was “Yes I did, almost a month ago”. And usually the question that follows is that “How come I haven’t read your blog about it”. This is because knowing that (1) I blog and (2) I love watching theater plays.

And so this review is long over-due and I want to review the play not just as a theater enthusiast but also as a teacher.

I enjoyed the sounds of children giggling and talking before the play. It felt like a big field trip. Finally, the curtains were raised and I was transported to a world with Dr. Seuss’ beloved book characters.
Mr. Mayor and Mrs. Mayor together with Bird Girls
The morale of the story of Seussical the Musical is about cooperation and understanding. Remember "a person is a person, no matter how small". Seussical the Musical incorporated different characters from famous Dr. Seuss’ books such as The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, Horton Hatches the Egg, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew and McElligots Pool to weave an interesting musical play. 

Gertrude of Seussical the Musical

I really liked how the Seussical the Musical stage was set up with different backdrops one behind the other. As for the plot it is very easy to understand which makes it perfect for grade school children. I am not sure though for pre-school children. I say this primarily because the costumes do not really show the animal characters the actors are portraying. And pre-school children, who might think on the most literal level, may find it a challenge to relate. Let’s take the character of Horton as an example. As we know, Horton is an elephant but aside from his grey coat and scarf he does not really look like an elephant. In my experience as a pre-school teacher I might expect a statement from a toddler “Not elephant!” However a grade schooler, especially those from the higher levels, will have enough maturity to understand the connection between the grey-colored costume, the character’s size and some of his gestures as a symbolical representation of an elephant.  Of course, one can still expect remarks like “How come he is not wearing an elephant costume? Isn’t Horton an elephant?” But after some explanation, the issue on representation can be easily settled. 
Horton of Seussical the Musical

As for toddlers, don’t be disappointed if your child insists “Not elephant”. Come on guys he really does not look like an elephant even if he uses his tie as a trunk! So if you’re watching with your toddler child, just enjoy the songs, dances and the colorful costumes. I personally find that there is no need insisting to explain why Horton looks like a person.
Mayzie Labird and Horton of Seussical the Musical 

Nonetheless, Horton was funny! The kind of funny kids enjoy. There is slapstick humour and lots of exaggerations. The play can be very appealing to a child’s eye with its vibrant colors and big movements. There are slow moments too and conversations where even I got lost. For children who have problems with attention, watch out for these moments and maybe teachers and guardians can think of ways to anticipate situations when the child gets easily bored.

Seussical the Musical 2011 Cast

Teacher Ia at Seussical the Musical
However, once the dances and songs start, you are once again transported to the magical world of Seuss! And after watching this children play you might even find saying to yourself "Oh the things you can think when you think of Seuss".

A word of advice, don't leave the theater right away. When I watched Seussical the Musical 2011 play, the cast came out after the show and stood on the stage. This gave the audience a chance to take pictures with the Seussical the Musical actors. If you haven’t watched Seussical the Musical Play, make sure you have a fully-charged camera ready for those memorable photos with Dr. Seuss’ characters.

Have you watched Seussical the Musical? If you haven't, tell us about your experience. It's easy, just comment below. 

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