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‘Seussical’ the musical

Cool cat coming to Sierra stage

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‘Seussical’ the musical

The entire cast of Seussical finishes one of their complete dance numbers.


POSTED April 13, 2009 3:45 a.m.
When Sierra High School theater teacher Sarah Frase was thinking of a spring musical, she knew that the one that was selected was going to be different right off the bat.

With Manteca Unified facing severe financial troubles over the course of the next few years, elective programs like drama and band are often the ones that are first to be placed on the chopping block – something Frase believes has already happened.

But the dozens of Advanced Theater and Advanced Choir students that are teaming up to perform Seussical – the stage production that brings the bizarre and imaginative world of Dr. Seussto life – aren’t going to let that stop them from blowing the roof off of the school’s black-box theater.

A six-show run is scheduled to kick-off on Thursday, April 17, at 7 p.m. – using the combined talents of the theater and the choir students together for the first time in a way that has many of those involved anxiously waiting to show off their work.

The collaboration will include Frase’s advanced theater students as well as the advanced choir students of teacher Melissa Viss who is also co-directing the show.

“It’s really exciting that we’re doing it this way – without the combination then the cast would only be half the size and it wouldn’t have that same feeling,” said Senior Chris Choate who will be one of the people playing The Cat. “We really get the chance to learn from each other – it’s a give and take relationship and it’s going to make for a very exciting performance.”

The entire story is predicated on the imagination of a young boy who is encouraged by The Cat in the Hat to think up anything that he wants – eventually creating the Jungle of Nool that is ripe with all kinds of characters ranging from a sour kangaroo to a group of mischievous monkeys known as the Wickershams.

For one of those playing the role of the terror-inducing monkeys – Adrian Williams – getting to play a part in the world of Dr. Seuss is like living out a childhood dream.

“I always liked Dr. Seuss books as a kid, but I never really knew all of the characters until I read through the script and saw how much more there was too it,” he said. “It’s like you’re getting the chance to play out your childhood again while you’re a teenager, and that’s not something that gets to happen very often.”

And for Katelyn Carbiener – who will be one of the people playing Jojo – the entire experience was somewhat overwhelming because it literally put her at the center of the entire make-shift world that the story takes place in.

“At first I thought it was a cool part because you’re the person who gets to imagine the whole play,” the choir student said. “But then I also liked the musical numbers – they’re fun and exciting and that made a good combo.

“I came into the class thinking that it was going to be different, and it’s been cool to be able to work with the theater students and learn things that you didn’t necessarily know before. It’s something we’re all looking forward to being a part of.”

Seussical will kick-off their first show on Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. Other dates include Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m., and April 23-25 (Thursday through Saturday) at 7 p.m.

Tickets for students and adults are $7 and seniors and children under 6 are $4. Tickets are available at the theater box office.
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