St. John’s Transforms to Whoville

A snowstorm could not stop the St. John’s Chappell Players from bringing the beloved books of Dr. Seuss to life by putting on a production of Seussical: The Musical.

The cast put on both an afternoon show and a night show on Saturday, Feb. 27 in the Little Theatre. The Chappell Players performed earlier that week exclusively for elementary school children.

Seussical is a musical based on one of Dr. Seuss’ popular books, Horton Hears a Who! It also features one of Seuss’s most famous characters, the Cat in the Hat, who acts as the storyteller.

When the lights came on, the audience was introduced to a cast wearing an array of vibrant colors and odd-looking clothing, such as mismatched overalls, skirts, shorts, layered tops and rainbow colored high socks and patterned tights. They sang joyfully about the world of Seuss that they invited the audience to enter.

The jungle where Horton lives is filled with different characters, including big-voiced kangaroos, rambunctious monkeys with very stylish eyewear and birds with impeccable pitch and spicy Latin dance moves.
It is not just the characters that made the story but the high quality production value of this musical, especially for college theatER. The color-changing backdrop, beautifully constructed props and the amazing set helped draw the audience further into the story.

The musical was filled with talented students who brought the beloved Seuss characters to life. Dylan Frisina, who played the Cat in the Hat, helped move the story along with incredible humor. Sarah Goncalves portrayed JoJo. also from Horton Hears a Who!, the littlest Who with the biggest imagination and a real sense of innocence.

A big addition to the cast was Horton the elephant (played by Justin Phillips) who brought the house down with an incredible duet with JoJo called “Alone in the Universe.” Jessica Hutchison and Daria Coney played the contradictory birds, Gertrude McFuzz from Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories and Mayzie Labird from Horton Hears a Who! Amy Ziolkowski portrayed the sour kangaroo with the amazing singing voice.

Gonclaves said it bes when she said: “To play Jojo my senior year has been a wonderful experience. The cast is made up of the most talented people I know, and I learned so much from sharing the stage with them. I’m so proud of everyone, especially since we only had a few weeks to get this show up and running.”

This rendition of Seussical had several things working for it. There was love, laughs, and limericks. In the end, audience members walked out with the mindset that “a person is a person, no matter how small.”