Hornell Community Theatre brings the world of Dr. Seuss to life in 'Seussical'
HORNELL, N.Y. (WENY) -- Hornell Community Theatre is bringing the world of Dr. Seuss to life through its production of Seussical.
Narrated by the author's most famous character, The Cat in the Hat, Seussical mostly recreates the stories of Horton Hears a Who!, Gertrude McFuzz, and Horton Hatches the Egg. The story still incorporates many other beloved characters from the author's repertoire, including Thing One and Thing Two, the Grinch, Yertle the Turtle and more.
For the cast, bringing some of the most beloved characters in children's literature to life has been surreal.
"It's been really exciting to dive into these characters and have a lot of fun [with the cast]," said Vinny Capluzzi, who plays the gentle, big-hearted Horton the Elephant. "It's such an amazing show in terms of huge enjoyment [and] huge spectacular numbers, so we're having a great time with it all. It's been fun to just dive in and learn more about Dr. Seuss as well."
Following the plot of Horton Hears a Who!, Horton is exiled by the animals in the Jungle of Nool for talking to a speck of dust, the same speck of dust the Whos live on. He soon befriends the Mayor of Whoville's son, JoJo, who also feels outcasted for "thinking strange thinks."
Playing JoJo in Hornell's production is Gloriana Phelps, who also spends a lot of time with the Cat in the Hat onstage.
"It's just really fun to play around, and some of it's a lot of improv," she said. "The cat kind of gets into mischief in the play, and I get to deal with some of that mischief too."
Playing the mischievous cat himself is Logan Whittall, who had a blast bringing Dr. Seuss' most famous character to life.
"It's really cool because in this role, compared to other ones I've played, there's a lot of improv," said Whittall. "I kind of get to jump around and do what I think is best...It gives you freedom and makes it a lot more enjoyable."
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cast is so thankful to reunite with old friends and present a show as fun and meaningful as Seussical.
"We have over 40 people involved in the production, so it's a huge undertaking from a lot of individuals," said Capluzzi. "The cast is brilliant and fantastic, and it's been so fun to work with them every day. It's been a real treat."
Seussical plays at Hornell Senior High School Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the door.