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SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2007
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Bridget Lappert, left, plays lovelorn Gertrude, who is writing her 437th love song, “The One Feather Tail of Miss Gertrude McFuzz.” Caroline Duffey, right, as “Amayzing Mayzie,” tells her what doctor can give her pills to grow “amayzing” tail feathers. “I like this role because Mayzie is so flamboyant,” Duffey said. “Seussical, the Musical” will be Friday through Sunday.
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Bridget Lappert, left, plays lovelorn Gertrude, who is writing her 437th love song, “The One Feather Tail of Miss Gertrude McFuzz.” Caroline Duffey, right, as “Amayzing Mayzie,” tells her what doctor can give her pills to grow “amayzing” tail feathers. “I like this role because Mayzie is so flamboyant,” Duffey said. “Seussical, the Musical” will be Friday through Sunday.

For the love of Seuss, Cat is back in the hat

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

Dr. Seuss fans of all ages can see these animal adventures come to life on stage next weekend.

Backstage Theatre Company will present four performances of “Seussical, the Musical” as its Summershow 2007 production Aug. 3-5.

Several Dr. Seuss stories come together in this show with colorful costumes and fun songs featuring all your favorite Seuss characters.

“The plot centers around Horton the Elephant, who is desperately trying to save the planet of Who, which is traveling on a dust speck,” said director Darren Butler.

His quest is hampered by Mayzie, who persuades him to sit on her egg until it hatches; Gertrude McFuzz, who wants the elephant’s affection; and some menacing monkeys known as the Wickersham Brothers.

“From beginning to end, it’s non-stop family fun,” said Butler, who also staged this popular musical about two years ago. “Whether you’ve read one Dr. Seuss book or all of them, you’ll fall in love with this show. The costumes and characters are all electrifying, and you won’t want to get up because you might miss something.”

“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.

An elephant is faithful 100 percent.”

Those are the favorite lines of Daniel Martin of Trinity, who is playing Horton the Elephant for the second time in gray patchwork overalls.

“I’m trying to do it a completely different way this time,” said Martin. “Most of the stuff in the show happens at Horton’s expense, like having to sit on an egg, but I like this character because he sticks to what he believes in.”

Falling in love with Horton is Bridget Lappert of Decatur as Gertrude, who wears a 1950s-style blue satin dress with bolero jacket and net-trimmed hat while mourning her lack of tail feathers.

“I read the Seuss books in kindergarten in Nebraska and never dreamed I would later play one of the characters on stage in Alabama,” she said. “I like stepping out of reality and playing something different, and this is fun because I’m not normally the shy type like Gertrude.”

Gertrude gets some pointers on how to get bigger tail feathers from Mayzie, who exudes confidence in her lime green gown with multicolored peacock feathers and feather boa.

Catie Duffey of Eva wears the familiar red-and-white striped hat, along with a polka dot suit, in her role as the Cat in the Hat.

“The cat is always doing something crazy, and I’ve probably never had a role this outgoing before, so I have to break out of my shell,” she said.

As the narrator, Catie tells everything to Jojo, played by Macy Ladner of Decatur, who gets pulled into the story as a character in Whoville.

Auburn University student Jonathan Schuster from Decatur plays the Mayor of Whoville for the third time in two years in two cities.

“The music is a big part of it for me,” said Schuster, a member of the Auburn Singers whose favorite solo in this musical is “Here on Who.” “A lot of people think this is just a kids’ show, but adults like it, too — and there are a lot of lines in it that only adults would understand.”

If you go

What: “Seussical, the Musical” presented by Backstage Theatre Company

When: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Where: Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets: $10 general admission, available from Studio One at 214 E. Moulton St., 308- 2300, or the Princess Theatre box office, 112 Second Ave. N.E., 340-1778

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