Seussical! The Musical

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Seussical! The Musical is a musical comedy by Lynn Ahrens (1948-)[1] and Stephen Flaherty (1960-)[2]

Originally titled simply Seussical (or Seussical!), it was later licensed as Seussical The Musical (or Seussical! The Musical). A shorter version for performance by young people, named Seussical JR, appeared in 2008.

The original text

Billed as "a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza", it is based on the work of Dr Seuss[3] and features an array of recognizable characters from the various the books. The music was composed by Flaherty, the lyrics by Ahrens and the book by the two jointly.

Though not well received by critics on its Broadway debut in 2000 and having closed in 2001 with huge financial losses, the piece went on to two US national tours and a West End production. It has since become a popular production for schools and regional theatres.

Translations and adaptations

It has also been adapted by the authors for performance by children (aged 4-18) called Seussical JR (This hour long version has also been performed, marketed and/or reviewed under variously spelled titles, such as Seussical The Musical Junior, Seussical The Musical Jr, or simply Seusical Jr and Seusical Jr..

Seussical JR was first performed in 2008.

Performance history in South Africa

2011: Seussical! The Musical (though probably the Junior version) was performed as by the Young Performers Project at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban from July 1 to 17. Directed by Steven Stead, with a technical crew that included designer Greg King, vocal coach Charon Williams Ros, musical director Charon Williams Ros and choreographer Daisy Spencer. Leading roles were taken by Candace van Pletzen ("Cat in the Hat"); Joshua Arnold ("Jojo"); Blessing Xaba ("Horton"); Nandisa Ngubelanga ("Gertrude") and Amanda Kunene ("Mayzie"), Shekhinah Donnell ("Kangaroo"), Delwyn van Jaarsveld ("Mayor") and Nicola Mayne ("Mayoress"). Others in the large cast included Mandisa Jwara, Pearl Khwezi, Zanda Zakura, Abigail Beard, Akhona Gayiya, Minnie Nthuli and Maghawe Madonsela.

2019-2020:: Seusical JR performed by Peoples Theatre, produced by Jill Girard and Keith Smith, with musical direction by Dale Scheepers. It had runs at Joburg Theatre Complex in Braamfontein (10 March 2019, until 28 April 2019); at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City, Johannesburg (20 December 2019 to 12 January 2020) and once more at Joburg Theatre Complex in Braamfontein (13 June to 30 July).

2023: A second season of Seusical JR performed by Peoples Theatre, produced by Jill Girard and Keith Smith, playing from 16 June to 30 July.


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