Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #67

Contents

SUESSICAL DELIVERS GREAT FUN AT WHEELOCK

INTIMATE APPAREL SEWS A TELLING TALE

JOAN RIVERS WRITES ABOUT MURDER

ACCOMPLISHED REVIVAL: THE CORN IS GREEN

BOSTON HONORS ROXBURY MUSIC PRODUCERS

LOVE IS IN THE AIR AT DINNER & A MOVIE

CHANGE & TRANSITION

UP-COMING EVENTS


SUESSICAL DELIVERS GREAT FUN AT WHEELOCK

by Kay Bourne

(Angela Williams as Mayzie)

cdbb00fed6a2b02dbe65e069e8d2dc4d.124.93 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #67“SUESSICAL” away the winter blahs! A rollicking Wheelock Family Theater production of the musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (with an assist from composer of funny songs Eric Idle) vividly brings stories from the pages of Dr. Suess to the stage with his hallmark wry humor and a lesson or two lightly delivered. Two heroes, one jumbo sized, the other microscopic, save the day in adventures narrated by the dynamic Cat in the Hat.

No squirming in their seats for the little theater goers or blasé adults as the tales of eccentrics whose behavior bears a surprising resemblance to people we know or even, gasp! ourselves, unfolds in a show that is nearly two hours long but goes by in a flash. “Suessical” runs through March 1 at the Wheelock Family Theater, 200 The Riverway which runs parallel to Longwood Avenue. The show times are Friday nights at 7:30; Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3pm with performances school vacation week, Tuesday through Friday, FEBRUARY 17 – 20, at 2pm. For more info, phone the box office at 617-879-2300 or click here to go online.

Horton, the gentle elephant, is splashing happily in a jungle mud hole when he hears a tiny cry for help coming from a mote of dust that floats by. The Whos, tiny people, very tiny, who inhabit the dust particle, fear for their lives and homes as the breezes waft them here and there. Horton takes pity, promising to guard their miniscule universe until a more stable site presents itself. They land on a clover which Horton watches over faithfully. The other animals in the jungle believe Horton’s gone round the bend mentally since they can’t see the little people on the clover flower he’s taking custody of.

The most creative thinker in the tiny world of Whoville is the son of the mayor, elementary school aged JoJo, whose “thinks’ have gotten him in trouble with the teachers at his school. JoJo is sent off to military school by his worried parents in hopes of getting him to be more of a conformist.

In the meantime, Horton has been asked by a reluctant mother-to-be bird, the dizzy Maisey, to sit on her egg while she takes a break, a rest from responsibility that extends into months as the flighty bird relishes her carefree days in the resort of Palm Beach.

Kamau M. Hashim, whose bulky physique makes him the picture of a Horton, is sweetly appealing as the humanistic pachyderm who believes “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Sixth grader Sirena Abalian zooms effectively through scenes as the energetic Jojo whose creative imagination will be the saving grace of his family and fellow Whos.

Peter A. Carey as the martinet General Schmitz is forceful without being overly scary. Jennifer Beth Glick gives a bravado performance and sings well, too, in her role as Gertrude, the admiring bird determined to win Horton’s heart (he’s clueless that he’s the object of her affection). The vain, self centered Mayzie who runs off from her egg is aptly portrayed by Angela Williams, a wonderful singer too. (Williams was profiled in the documentary “Who Does She Think She Is” reviewed in the last issue of the KBAR).

The voice of conformity in the jungle belongs to the tut tuting Sour Kangaroo, delightfully portrayed by Gamalia Pharms as a know-it-all matronly sort who chastises Horton with gospel force in “The People Versus Horton The Elephant.” As the Cat in the Hat Andrew Barbato gives a virtuoso performance as wild as comic Robin Williams at his outrageous best. The supporting players are terrific too.

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