The first things that are striking in Lynden Performing Arts Guild’s production of “Seussical!” is the set– brightly colored flats, outlined in black, that allows for the intergenerational cast of 29 to leap, somersault, twirl, and careen across the stage.
Next are the 80 (yes, 80!) costumes in orange, green, yellow, red, blue, purple, and, for Horton the Elephant, brown and grey.
Director Ashley Albertson graduated from Western Washington University’s theater arts program. She fell in love with the beautifully written and catchy music of “Seussical” when she was in high school. She says, “This show does a wonderful job of taking well-known and beloved children’s book characters and showcasing their stories in a very genuine, human way.” Her husband Tim Albertson, is the musical director, and the songs range from the touching (“Alone in the Universe”) to the silly (“Battle of the Butter”). Rachel Hutchins choreographs this high-energy show and Jeff Hamstra is in charge of the fantastic light design.
The songs and story move along at a fast clip, but it’s easy to follow the plight of The Whos, a community of tiny people who live in a clover (yes, a clover). Other plot conflicts: Mayzie La Bird, who deserts her egg and leaves Horton responsible for looking after it (no spoilers here); Gertrude McFuzz, who longs to be noticed by her crush, Horton; and most of all, Jojo, whose active imagination gets her into trouble, to the dismay of her narrow-minded parents.
Behind all this are the subtle (well, not always subtle) ideas that it’s ok to think outside the lines, that being one’s unique self pays out in the end, to be open-minded, and that love and acceptance win.
The musical opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight, May 2, and runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 19 at the Claire vg Thomas Theatre, in Dutch Village Mall, 655 Front St., in Lynden. The final weekend includes a matinee performance at 2 p.m. and an evening show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale online at http://www.theclaire.org/ and at the theater box office between 1 and 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, or call 360-354-4425 during those hours.