PREVIEW: Seussical the Musical brings childhood characters to life

This year’s spring musical, Seussical the Musical, is based upon the works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, and developed by composer Stephen Flaherty, writer Lynn Ahrens, and writer Eric Idle. Seussical incorporates characters from many of Dr. Seuss’s works, including Horton Hears a Who!, The Cat in the Hat and many more.

Photo by Anita Liu

Seussical revolves around the budding friendship between Horton the Elephant and Jojo, the smallest Who in Whoville, which is a group of creatures who live in a speck of dust on a clover. Seussical explores themes of identity, individuality and creativity. The larger idea of the musical is that people who think differently can coexist, according to senior Johanna Klaiman, who plays Gertrude Mcfuzz.

Choosing Seussical as this year’s spring musical was a collaborative decision between choir teacher Jason Chan, orchestra teacher Esther Hollander, dance teacher Wendy Jones, theater director Mirji Campolongo and drama teacher Anne Marie Ullman. They decided on Seussical because they felt that the show’s message of holding on to hope through adversity is a great fit for the current times. Ullman is the main director and producer of the musical, and Katrina McGraw, a professional actor and theater teacher at New Conservatory Theater Center and American Conservatory Theater, is the assistant director.

Photo by Christina Johnson

One of the biggest differences between Seussical and other musicals Ullman has directed in the past is that Seussical is an operetta, which means the show is mostly sung and has very little dialogue. Singing for most of the show isn’t easy for the actors, according to Ullman. “It’s a challenge in [a] way, because everybody has to say things at the right time or else we fall behind the music,” Ullman said. “And it also puts a lot more pressure on the actors because they have to know everything perfectly — not only their own parts but also everybody else’s.”

The 50 to 60 cast members of Seussical have been hard at work to make sure they present the musical in the best way possible. “Everyone has been a really awesome team player,” Ullman said. “It’s a really hard show, and we’ve just all been working really hard. And so I think it’s going to be so rewarding, because they’ve got it down, and they’re really doing a great job.”


For the senior actors in the musical, Seussical will be their last show at Lowell, so they are doing their best to make this last show a great one. “We’re all just sort of like a family here, and for a lot of us seniors, we want to make the best of our last show and let this kind of childish theme take us back and allow us to appreciate the little things a lot more,” said senior Charlotte Schwartz, who plays Mayzie La Bird.

Photo by Anita Liu

Seussical the Musical will be running from March 8–11 in the Carol Channing Theater. The musical will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 8–10 and 2 p.m. on March 11.