Theater Review: In ‘Seussical,’ Everyone Has the Ability to Prevail

Oh, the things you can think when Dr. Seuss characters collide in an unforgettable, kid-friendly musical called Seussical

Seussical follows the story of Horton The Elephant. Horton finds a speck of dust containing the Whos, and as if trying to save them isn’t enough, he is also tasked with guarding an abandoned egg. 

In the Raleigh Little Theatre production, Maddie Behrens’ portrayal of Jojo is spot-on. Her voice is amazing, the projection she has with no microphone was perfect, and her facial expressions easily demonstrate her abilities as an actress. Hayden Tyler as The Cat and the Hat (and others) is flawless. His love for kids truly shows in this production. And Hakeem Abdur-Rahim portrayal of Horton showcases his personality and funk in this role. 

The ensemble in this show is great. They really know how to put on a show, and move in sync. To top it all off, the set has the feel of a Dr. Seuss book and the scene transitions are organized and have a good flow. 

Though this show was really good, nothing is perfect.  The actors did not have microphones, which made it challenging to hear at times, particularly when the music drowned out the actors. In addition, although this show is the TYA version running only 75 minutes, it has no intermission. Kids with tiny attention spans and bladders did start to get impatient. But those may be Seussical’s only flaws. 

One of the things that immediately stood out to me in this production was the amount of diversity and inclusion there was onstage. Apparently, in Who-ville, race, gender, and size don’t matter. And in a story about the power of friendship, trust, and family, the idea that everyone has the ability to prevail despite their differences, is a really big think.

The Raleigh Little Theatre production of Seussical runs through March 1. There is a sensory-friendly performance scheduled for February 29. For more information visit https://raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/seussical/.

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