Oh the places they will go, and the songs they will sing in the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences‘ newest production Seussical. This hour-long fantastical, magical production is based on the classic Seuss books The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, Horton Sits on the Egg, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, McElligot’s Pool, and Oh, The Places You’ll Go! All lovers of Dr. Seuss will enjoy this production this holiday season. It is playing at the Marriott from now until December 30th.
One of the reasons I love Dr. Seuss books so much is that they all have a positive lesson hidden in them for children. This production is no different as it celebrates friendship, compassion, bravery and the power of imagination without kids even realizing that they are learning morals.
The story follows the Cat in the Hat (George Keating) as he energetically narrates the story of Horton the Elephant (Michael Aaron Lindner) and his friends as they journey through the mountains, the jungle of Nool and across oceans all to help a small girl named Jojo (Sage Harper) bring peace to her planet, Who. The show features original pop songs that tell the tale of the production all played with LIVE instruments adjacent to the theatre. My three year old would get so excited and exclaim, “Yay! Another song!” and bop around in his seat whenever a new one started. The whole atmosphere of the production was just really upbeat and fun.
Because the play is put on by the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences it is more interactive and only one hour long. The cast members enter and leave the stage, which is centered in the middle of the audience, through the aisles. If you are lucky enough to sit in a seat near an aisle the cast may interact with you.
However, if you are unable to get an aisle seat – no big deal! Every seat is a good seat in this intimate round-shaped theatre. There is no pressure to pay big bucks to get front row seats; even if you find yourself sitting way in the back you will still feel close to the stage and will be able to see everything perfectly.
After the show there is a question-and-answer session where the audience gets a chance to interact with the cast. The Cat in the Hat goes around asking all the children if they have any questions about the play or the technical aspects. This is always one of my favorite parts about coming to the Marriott; even I find myself learning something new every time I go. Often times if you stick around long enough after the question and answer session you will find characters lingering in the hallway to pose for pictures. Maybe I just went on a weird day for them, because I waited around for a half an hour after the question session and they never came out. In the past they always have, which has been definitely worth the wait.
While singing, dancing and cheering are always encouraged at the Marriott productions, screaming and crying is not. As a mom of a three year old who is sometimes antsy I was so excited to see that the Marriott installed a television set in the lobby by the bathrooms. This is great because now you won’t ever have to miss any part of the play even if your child is crying or needs to get up and walk around. I really wish that more theaters would install these because then I would definitely be able to take my son to longer productions.
While I would recommend this play for people of all ages, I feel its worth mentioning that you brush up on your Dr. Seuss books before hand, particularly the story of Horton Hears a Who so as to enhance your overall enjoyment of the play.
While the singing and atmosphere of the play were great, the story line was a bit confusing. I attribute it to the fact that the costumes were very simple for many of the characters. There were some characters with just t-shirts with monkeys printed on them and blue jeans, and I remember saying to my boyfriend after the play, “Wait, who were they supposed to be?” I was also a bit surprised that Horton was simply wearing overalls and nothing relating to elephants. My three year old who has never heard the story of Horton Hears a Who noticed nothing of it and enjoyed it immensely. But for older children and adults, it may be beneficial to review the story prior to going.
Visit MarriottTheatre.com or call (847) 634-0200 to purchase tickets and to see the show schedule, as show times and dates vary. Single ticket prices are $17.23 per person (includes fees and taxes). Free parking is available at all shows.
Disclosure: The writer received tickets to the media preview in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are their own and no further compensation was received.