Theatre — Suessical: The Musical

Suessical: The Musical

By Patty Caya

From the 12th of November in the midst of downtown,
Children will laugh but the Grinch will still frown.

For over on Court Street the Seussical reigns,
With treats for our ears and thoughts for our brains.

Horton and Gertrude, the Cat in the Hat,
All of your favorites, how about that!

The Suessical’s story takes an improbable look,
At just what would happen if they lived in one book.

Come take a listen, come take a look, As the Peacock Players play Seuss characters from each favorite book
.
 

If there was any question that the Peacock Players would survive the departure of former Artistic Director Scott Severance, those fears were allayed by their current production of Seussical: The Musical playing through Nov. 21 at The Court Street Theater in Nashua.

The Peacock Players have effectively created the psychedelic kaleidoscope world that is Seuss. The young actors and singers have somehow inhabited that world with such precision and skill that they have certainly assured their place at the forefront of Children’s theater in the region.  They have proven that they have staying power as a group beyond the contributions of any single (adult) person.

Christa Tsechrintzis who will be stepping up to fill the Executive Director position with the organization is confident that the change in leadership will only be a minor hiccup. The group is devoted to their mission of providing quality programming and expanding their education offerings.

She admits, “He (Severance) left big shoes to fill. He was a great director.” But that won’t impede the group from continuing to build on the success they have achieved in recent years as they've stepped out of the shadow of their now defunct parent organization, the American Stage Festival.

For the children, the change in leadership will mean that they will be exposed to a lot of different guest directors, with different styles and techniques. Tsechrintzis believes this will be a positive experience for the kids. “That’s what they will have to deal with if they continue to pursue a career in theater beyond Peacock Players,” she said. “It will be nice for them to get a different feeling from the directors (each time).”

The group’s long term goal is to introduce more progressive education choices so the students can work their way through levels of the various stage disciplines. This way, they gain more depth of understanding of their craft and prepare to take on more responsible roles in the shows.

Watching Seussical, it’s hard not to be impressed by the quality of the performances and the precision of the staging and the direction.

It’s not easy to take oneself seriously when speaking in Seuss couplets, but the show’s young actors do a remarkable job of taking their characters quite seriously. They are able to interpret the comic material and strike a delicate balance between whimsy and emotional maturity.

This would not be possible without expert guidance and that came in the form of stage direction by Timothy L’Ecuyer, choreography by Tina Cassidy and music direction by Judy Hayward.

One can only hope that the current members of the Peacock Players who don’t go on to bigger and better things in New York and Hollywood stick around here and contribute to the local community theater scene. We will all be better for their contributions in the years to come.

Seussical: The Musical continues, Nov 19 to 21 at The Court Street Theater, 2 Court Street, Nashua. Performances Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 to $12. For tickets or more information call 886-7000 or visit www.peacockplayers.org.

Children who come dressed as their favorite Dr. Seuss character for the Saturday matinee will receive a free snack.

—Patty Caya

 
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