DASSEL-COKATO, MN A group of Dassel-Cokato High School students have spent the last few months dancing, singing, and trying to remember what life was like before “Oh The Things You Can Think” was stuck in their heads.
Now, they are about to reap the rewards of their labor, as they prepare to present their fall musical, “Seussical,” next weekend.
The show will run for five days over two weekends at the DC Performing Arts Center (PAC), with two matinee times.
Show times are Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m.
This year, tickets will be available only at the door, and can be purchased one hour prior to show time at the PAC box office. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $4, and adult tickets are $6.
Only cash and check payments will be accepted. Debit and credit card payments are no longer available.
“Seussical” is a lively, sung-through musical full of vibrant dance and colorful characters.
Director James Frickstad, who chose the show in part because of the appeal it has for all ages, described it as “a whimsical, musical ride into your favorite Dr. Seuss stories.”
Audiences will be sure to recognize many favorite characters and plots, as “Seussical” is based on the works of Dr. Seuss and contains elements from more than a dozen Seuss books.
Created by Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, and Eric Idle, with lyrics by Ahrens and music by Flaherty, the show takes place in two worlds; the Jungle of Nool, inhabited by Horton the elephant and his jungle friends, and the world of the Whos, who live on a barely visible planet the size of a dust mote.
After Horton discovers the Whos, he becomes determined to protect their planet at all costs, which leads him into all sorts of predicaments, including a war, a court trial, a romance, and becoming the surrogate parent of an abandoned egg.
Despite its light and fun exterior and catchy, up-beat score, “Seussical” has strong themes of friendship, compassion, and loyalty, and the importance of doing what’s right, even when the whole world is against you.
According to Frickstad, “Seussical” was the perfect choice for this year’s cast of students.
Since the show is sung-through, with very little spoken dialogue, the cast has to be exceptionally present and in the moment, and pay close attention to the pit and to key changes.
Despite the challenges, or perhaps because of them, Frickstad said, “I probably say this every year, but as a whole, I feel this is the most talented and dedicated group of kids I’ve had the privilege of working with. It’s nothing short of an honor working with them.”
Besides the cast, many people have put time and effort into the production, including the musical directors, production assistant, tech crew, set builders and painters, stage managers, and those helping with costumes and props.
“Seussical,” like any musical, would not be possible without the input of every single person, on or behind the stage.
As Frickstad said, “Musicals are one of the most time-consuming, demanding, frustrating, rewarding, and beautiful things someone can be a part of. Come see the shows and support these amazing kids.”