'Seussical the Musical'
Pinecrest Players present "Seussical the Musical"
The Pinecrest Players have the answer to the dismal news headlines that have been churned out on television recently.
Called a "fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza," "Seussical the Musical" is the spring production chosen to showcase the talents of the students at Pinecrest High School tonight and Sunday afternoon.
First produced on Broadway about 10 years ago, the show met with only limited success. However, since that time, it has been performed extensively by community theaters and high schools, and has become one of the most popular shows in those venues.
Bringing to life all of the favorite Dr. Seuss characters, the show is one that Adam Faw, the artistic and technical director of Pinecrest's theater department, has had his eye on for a while.
"It's a lot of fun, and is very different from anything we have done before," he says. "We have a wonderful cast, including an exciting group of freshmen and sophomores, along with the gifted juniors and seniors who have been in our past shows."
Erin Plisco, the new director of choral studies at Pinecrest, started in her position at the beginning of the current school year. According to Faw, she brings enthusiasm and expertise to her duties, and the students enjoy being under her direction.
"It's also been a great collaboration between the two of us," says Faw. "We work very well together."
In addition to coaching the lead singers and the chorus, Plisco serves as the musical director for the production, and in that capacity, she will be conducting the orchestra.
"The score for the show is Broadway-type music with a children's theater twist,"says Faw. "Although it does have some difficult harmonies, Erin Plisco has been able to guide the singers through them, and there are a lot of basic melodies."
Centering around Horton the Elephant, the story of "Seussical the Musical" also focuses on some of the other well-known Seuss creations such as the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie La Bird, and Horton's friend, JoJo, the youth with a big imagination.
The whimsical cast transports the audience from the jungle to the invisible world of the Whos in a delightful spirit of adventure. Although Horton faces dangers and other troubles along his way, the power of friendship, loyalty, family and community emerges triumphant
The role of Horton is played by Andrew Soboeiro, a senior. He worked behind the scenes during his freshman year, but has been on stage every year since that time, and had the memorable part as the King in last year's production of "Once Upon a Mattress."
Savanna Fitzgerald, a junior who plays JoJo, has been involved in Pinecrest Players all three years, and is a member of the honors theater group. Sophomore Killian Poplyk, who is Cat in the Hat, has done a number of productions with Moore OnStage and Taylor Dance, as well as being in last year's Pinecrest production.
Freshman Maddie Currier, who was active in musical theater at West Pine Middle School, tackles the sizable singing role of Gertrude McFuzz - a kind of love interest for Horton, and Mayzie La Bird is portrayed by sophomore Suzanne Soboeiro. Others in supporting roles are Aleigha Lambert, Patrick Hardison, Max Bernet-Jones, Logan Williams, Miranda Allen, Jeremy McKenzie and Erin Wilson.
Mary McKeithen, of Showboat Costuming, has worked in tandem with Pinecrest Players to produce the colorful costumes.
"What we have tried to do is to keep them simple enough so we can see the humanity in the characters," Faw says. "We have tried to stay away from costumes that are so huge and extravagant that they overtake the actors."
An elaborate set wasn't required. Here again a simplistic approach was utilized to avoid dominating the actors. The students in Faw's technical theater class have created a jungle set, using platforms and stairs. Among those in the class are several artists who have contributed their talents to achieving a realistic setting of painted houses and backdrops for another scene.
Twenty students will be backstage, working on sound and lights, with stage manager duties being handled by senior Jessica Parker. The assistant stage manager is junior Kat Burrow, and senior Cyrus Taylor is the technical director.
"Seussical the Musical" has an appeal for people of all ages, particularly those who grew up reading Dr. Seuss.
"We never grow out of that kind of fun and adventure," says Faw. "Although kids will have a blast watching the show, it isn't just a show for youngsters to enjoy. It's a great show for the whole family."
Performances are tonight at 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission, and $10 for children under 12. They may be purchased at the Pinecrest High School office during school hours, or at the Arts Council of Moore County at the Campbell House.
Contact Pinehurst freelance writer Mary Elle Hunter at mhunter104@ yahoo.com.
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