WALWORTH — Students at Walworth Elementary School are rehearsing their song-and-dance routines as they prepare to perform “Seussical Jr.,” based on a Dr. Seuss classic.
The stage musical is taken from “Horton Hears a Who,” the Suess book published in 1954 and later adapted for a 2008 animated movie of the same name.
Performances at the school are scheduled for April 12 and 13. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and children.
Many are familiar with the beloved Seuss story, but “Seussical Jr.” introduces some new twists and turns, and characters from other Seuss books make appearances.
Laura Barker, music teacher and director of the musical, said the school has done a musical every year since she first started teaching there seven years ago.
Barker said this will be the first time “Seussical Jr.” will be performed at Walworth, but she said she directed the play at another school before she came to Walworth.
Students in the musical are from sixth through eighth grades. Barker was encouraged by the response of students eager to get involved.
“We’ve got a lot of young ones,” she said.
One of the veterans in the cast is Alexa Clary, an eighth-grader, who plays Mayzie, a fun-loving bird who is not inclined to sit on eggs. Clary has performed in other musicals at Walworth Elementary.
“It’s a lot of fun working with your friends, being creative,” she said.
Fifteen students are involved with the stage play, some with multiple parts.
The rest of the cast includes Brooklyn Flies, Guadalupe Miranda, Natalie Klamm, Chloe Weborg, Timmy McIntyre, Kaylie Hernandez, Abby Hildebrandt, Itzel Ruiz, Mia Nor, Vanessa Ross, Grace Borgen, Maya Morand, Steven Huerta and Isabel Pioquinto.
Students are also be involved in set design, tech and stage crews.
In the story, Horton the Elephant can hear the voices of a microscopic town of people called Whos. They are in trouble, and Horton, being big-hearted, sets out to protect them.
But the other animals of the jungle, who cannot hear the Whos, think Horton is crazy.
In addition to protecting the Whos, Horton gets talked into sitting on an egg on a nest so his bird friend, Mayzie, can take a break.
Things get worse, as Horton, his tree, nest and egg are captured by hunters, sold at an auction, and end up in a circus.
And then when Horton returns to the jungle, the other animals put him on trial for sitting on an egg and hearing voices no one else can hear.
Only Gertrude, a bird who is Horton’s romantic interest, stands by him.
The story takes more twists and turns from there, making for a lively stage show.