By Joseph Pratt
March 14, 2014
Portsmouth Area Childrens Theater (PACT) is producing their annual senior company musical production with “Seussical, the Musical,” which is the closing show of their fourth season. The colorful characters in “Seussical” will transport you from your seat to the Jungle of Nool, to the Circus McGrurkus and to the invisible world of the Whos.
The Cat in the Hat tells of the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing small people called Whos. One of the Whos on the speck is JoJo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton not only must protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but also has the responsibility of guarding Mayzie La Bird’s abandoned egg. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphed.
PACT hosted two days of student showings and seated over 2200 students at discounted rates.
“They are loving it,” PACT Director Becky Lovins said. “The kids are completely engaged and cheering, and the students are all walking out with smiles on their faces.”
Lovins said that the show isn’t all fun and games and that there is a real lesson to be learned in the show.
“One of the things I love about this show is the themes and morals that the characters go through. Horton goes through extreme hardships to stick by his friends and to do the right things and to be loyal. There are bullies in the show and the way the bullies interact with the rest of the cast and the way they turn things around.” Lovins said. “It has some really great themes that are relevant.”
Hannah Miller, sophomore at Minford High School, is playing the sassy role of the Sour Kangaroo, who is one of the antagonists of the show.
“At first, I really didn’t like my character. I really didn’t,” said Miller. “Then I grew to understand that she is just trying to protect the Jungle of Nool and just wants it to be a safe place. You know, you don’t want crazy people around your kids, do you?”
Miller said that not only has her role grown on her, but so has the show.
“I think this show is absolutely amazing. It is so colorful, the music is a lot of fun and everyone involved is really amazing,” said Miller. “I really need to thank Susan Foster and Becky Lovins for dealing with everything and making this show happen.”
PACT opened their show at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on Friday, but there two more showings on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. and March 16 at 2:30 p.m. General admission is $12, children under 12 are $10.PACT will also be offering group rate discount if you purchase more than 10 tickets at the McKinley Box Office. More information can be found at PACT’s Facebook and Twitter pages, at PAAC4Kids.org and by contacting the McKinley Box Office at 740-351-3600 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
“This is going to be a fantastic weekend,” Lovins said. “This is one of the most family friendly shows you can see. It is going to be one of the best things anyone could do this weekend.”
Joseph Pratt can be reached at Portsmouth Daily Times, 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.