Shoals Community Theatre presents Dr. Seuss musical

Will Stanfield (cat in the hat), Logan Hill (red), Emily Christmas (Purple), and Grace Watkins (stripes) performing during the dress rehearsal of Seussical musical. The Seussical Musical begins showtime Thursday March 5th.

by Staff Writer Melissa Parker

As Dr. Seuss reminds everyone: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” To celebrate the March 2 birthday of America’s beloved children’s author, the Shoals Community Theatre is presenting “Seussical the Musical” March 5-8. Students looking to support the local arts can steer themselves to the show.

The children’s group of the Shoals Community Theatre, is performing the musical “suitable for all ages,” said director and UNA alumna Emily Gordon.

“It’s definitely more geared toward children, but the music is really advanced and I think college students could appreciate the complexity of the score,” said Savannah Comer, who plays a

Bird Girl.

Gordon said she chose the musical as the spring show to honor Dr. Seuss on his birthday.

“It is basically every single Dr. Seuss story rolled into one giant musical,” she said. “There’s something for everybody, something everybody is going to remember from their childhood.”

Robb Girnus,who plays Horton the elephant, said characters not normally seen together in the books are brought together on stage.

“This play brings to life a lot of Seuss characters,” he said.

The 55-member cast, ages ranging 1 to 45, started rehearsing for the show in January, Gordon said.

“It’s going to be a really cool production,” she said. “It has fun choreography, and our costumes

are phenomenal.”

Florence Middle School seventh-grader Grace Watkins plays Jojo, the young hero of the story.

The audience sees all the stories through his eyes, Gordon said.

“Jojo’s a really cool part, and we’ve had a good time bringing him to life,”

she said.

Watkins said Jojo is a very creative character.

“He makes things a little more fun by involving as many people as he can to help him create this world,” Watkins said.

Garyson Campbell, Muscle Shoals Middle School sixth grader, plays one of the Wickersham brothers.

“I’m a monkey and I’m one of the bad guys,” he said. “We think Horton is the craziest person in the world and we steal his stuff.”

Girnus, the oldest cast member, said he is really excited about working with the kids.

“That’s what brings a smile to my face and makes it all worthwhile,” he said

Girnus, who is also responsible for the set design, said many hours went into building the largest set they have put on the Shoals Theatre stage, but the task was made easier with help from parents and other board members.

This is the third show Gordon has directed and the biggest, she said, and everyone has put a lot of hard work into learning the music score and the choreographies.

“I feel like we’ve stepped it up from shows in the past and people are going to get to really experience quality theatre without having to leave home,” she said.

The shows are March 5-7 at 7 p.m. and March 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets for adults are $12 and can be bought in advance by contacting the Shoals Theatre and $15 at the door, student tickets are $9 in advance and $12 at the door. For ages 6 and under all tickets are $5.