Drama Club Sells Out Both Nights of Winter Musical, Seussical

Drama Club Sells Out Both Nights of Winter Musical, Seussical

Dana Morrone

The Cat in the Hat joins Jojo on stage to preform during an opening scene. (Photo/Bryan Kelleher)

Oh, the thinks you can think! After months of preparation, The Cat in the Hat and his crew finally premiered on stage to unveil what everyone had been waiting for. As the winter musical, Walpole High School’s drama club performed their very own production of the well known musical, Seussical. With both of the premiering nights for the play being sold out, friends and family poured into auditorium on the nights of Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10.

The Seussical easily sets itself apart from other popular Broadway and high school musicals because of its semi-complex plot line. The production is, in itself, an amalgamation of most of Dr. Seuss’ most popular children books. With The Cat in the Hat (played by senior Jack Gately) as the narrator and standy-by conflict creater, the story is centered around Horton the Elephant (played by junior Mike McKeon) and his journey with a microscopic planet on a speck of dust.

Yes, you read correctly. Horton picks up a tiny speck of dust to soon figure out that there is a mini, magical land (Whoville) within. The outline of the plot is centered around Horton’s immediate desire to protect the Whos from danger. Because none of the other animals that Horton is around believe his outlandish assumptions of the miniature Whoville, Horton feels like an outsider.

The musical follows the story of the mayor of Whoville and his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Mayor (Played by seniors Evan Parsons and Becky Chariton) and the rest of the town of Whoville unite as they try to find their son, Jojo (played by junior Rory Hardiman). Mr. and Mrs. Mayor send Jojo to military school, under strict General Gengus Khan Schmit’s (played by senior Alex Marcinkowski) rules. After being ‘blown away,’ (though dramatic irony leads the audience to be aware that Jojo is in fact safe but just lost in the world), Jojo is a wandering soul. He expresses his confusion and depression through a duet with Horton, a melancholy ballad, ‘Alone in the Universe.’ Here, the audience can pick up the mirroring effect of Horton’s and Jojo’s desire to belong, illustrating a clear synonymous characteristic.

The play goes to to follow the one sided romance between Gertrude McFuzz (played by sophomore Michelle Murray) and Horton the Elephant. Gertrude, a single feathered bird, tries to win over Horton’s love by eating several mysterious tree berries, which in turn makes her grow a beautiful feathered tail. Murray took the stage on her own to preform two of her own solos in Gertrude’s part, both ‘The One Feathered Tail of Gertrude McFuzz’ and ‘Notice Me Horton.’

Mr. James D’Atillio is the director of the drama club and the musical. He spent the last few months with his cast preparing for their big premiere.┬áHe was extremely pleased with the turnout for the performance. “You can’t get better than a sold out show” he said. As for the main casting, he explains that it was not difficult to know which of his drama club student would play specific parts. “I thought they were the best people for those particular roles and they [proved] me right. They [did] a wonderful job, every one of them. In fact, they are even better than I thought they would be,” he said.

The students in the drama club have never failed to express their time and commitment to their performances. On the days before the show, dress rehearsals kept the entire cast in the auditorium until nine o’clock at night. With over thirty songs to memorize and learn choreography to, the students in the drama club exhibit exactly what it means to be dedicated. Senior Alex Marcinkowski, who played his eighth show as the part of General Schmitz, knows the importance of the commitment to drama. “It’s a lot of time spent practicing” he said, “but it’s all worth it.”

To end the show, (which included a roaring applause and standing ovation from the crowd), a few of the underclassman in the cast took the time to inform the audience of the circumstances of the show. They thanked all contributing members to the play with flowers and a shoutout Musical Director Mrs. Maccini Pavloff, the orchestra, choreographer Kristen Kuznezov, and other countless contributors such as Ms. Ferrara, Ms. Jordan, Ms. Beth Chariton, Mr. Jeff Matson, and many others.

The Seussical turned out to be a great success. Two nights of sold out shows were a sure reminder to the drama students that the school, as well as the town, recognizes, supports, and is greatly entertained by their talented stage presence.