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Potomac Playmakers to perform 'Seussical: The Musical"

November 12, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

If there's one word that cast and crew often use to describe the Potomac Playmakers' production of "Seussical: The Musical," it's "fun."

And with its colorful backdrops, wild costumes and toe-tapping numbers, all based on the beloved writings of Thomas Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss, it's easy to see why.

"Seussical: The Musical" opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, and runs two weekends at The Academy Theater. The show opens the Playmakers' 84th season.

"It's a musical with an entire new storyline, but based on over 13 different books from the Dr. Seuss collection. And they've put them together in a brand-new book," said Ruth Ridenour, who is director of the production as well as president of Potomac Playmakers.

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Ridenour said the production centers around Horton the Elephant, his discovery of The Whos and his fight to save them.

Ridenour said the only Dr. Seuss book she was familiar with was "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." She never had children of her own to read the books to.

But she said she can see why Seuss' characters had such an appeal.

"The characters are so vibrant, and the language to Seuss is so unique," she said. "... The rhyming and the timing of the characters and just their stories are so true. ... They're so timeless."

Andre Brown of Hagerstown plays one of Seuss' iconic characters, The Cat in the Hat.

"The Cat and the Hat is basically the emcee of the show or the narrator," Brown said. "He's also the mischievous one of the show."

He said the Cat often pops in throughout the show to introduce the characters and give a feeling of what's going on.

"He gives a comedic value to the show," Brown said.

Brown saw a production of "Seussical" when he was much younger. He said what appealed to him then about the show was what makes Seuss' books so appealing today.

"It was a story that allowed you to dream more than the other Disney characters did. Plus, it was funny to imagine yourself doing it, too," he said.

Travis Ware of Hagerstown portrays Horton the Elephant, whose story is told in the production.

"Horton is a kind guy, who always wants to help out," Ware said of his character. "He's a little weird, but nice overall."

Ware had worked with Ridenour when he was in high school and said that was one reason why he wanted to audition for the show. The other reason was because it was "Seussical."

"Everybody loves 'Seussical.' It's a fun show," he said.

Cinnamon Rowland of Hagerstown plays Sour Kangaroo, the skeptic who doesn't believe Horton hears anything.

"She comes to find out in the end that things aren't always as they seem," Rowland said.

Rowland, who has been acting with the Playmakers since she was a child, said she's enjoyed being in the musical.

"I'm an elementary school teacher, so I consider myself on the stage every day. Being a teacher, I kind of live in a world of fantasy to keep the kids interested," she said.

Nick Vindivich of Williamsport plays one of the Wickersham brothers, monkeys who play tricks on Horton. Vindivich said he enjoys his part.

"My character get to fool around the whole time, so it's been fun to be on stage and act like a fool," he said.

Vindivich said "Seussical" appeals to everyone. "It doesn't matter what age you are. It's entertaining," he said. "It's a very wonderful and bright musical."




If you go ...



What: "Seussical: The Musical"

When: 8 p.m. Fridays, Nov. 13 and 20, Saturdays, Nov. 14 and 21, and Thursday, Nov. 19; and 3 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 15 and 22

Where: The Academy Theater, 58 E. Washington St., downtown Hagerstown.

Cost: $16; $10 for students in grades kindergarten through 12

Contact: Call 301-797-8182 or go to www.potomacplaymakers.com

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