“Seussical” at Circa ’21 brings Dr. Seuss characters to life from Nov. 26 to Dec. 26

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The cast of the musical “Seussical,” which opens Friday, Nov. 26 at Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, Rock Island.

For Circa ’21’s first holiday children’s musical since the winter of 2019, a beloved series of storybook characters will spring to life with the musical “Seussical.”

Running Nov. 26 through Dec. 26, this charming, magical entertainment was praised as “85 minutes of sweetness, humor and energetic high spirits” by the New York Times and will be brought to life in Rock Island through the talents of professional stage artists.

Circa ’21 will present show-only performances of “Seussical” on Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 7, 11, 14 and 18. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. performances, with tickets $9.50 per person, or $9 each for groups of 12 or more. Added 1 p.m. matinées (with doors at 12:30 p.m.) have been scheduled for Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 11 and 18.

Brunch performances also will be held on the show’s opening day Friday, Nov. 26, as well as every Sunday from Nov. 28 through Dec. 26. Doors for these presentations open at 10:45 a.m., brunch is served starting at 11 a.m. and the shows begin at noon. Tickets are $22.05 for adults, $19.95 for ages six to 18, and $16.80 for ages 5 and younger.

For tickets and information, contact Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse at 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island, or by calling 309-786-7733, ext. 2.

Sophia Kilburg, left, Erica Lee Bigelow, Sydney Dexter, and Kirsten Sindelar.

With the musical’s fanciful recreation of beloved Dr. Seuss characters and situations achieved by Tony-winning composers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, “Seussical” transports audiences from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus. This enduringly popular family musical finds the Cat in the Hat telling the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos’ one of whom, the Who child Jojo, gets in trouble for thinking too many “thinks.”

Not only must Horton protect the Whos’ from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he also must guard an abandoned egg that’s been left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him.

Megan Warren and Bobby Becher in “Seussical.”

Serving as director and choreographer in the new production is Ashley Becher, a castmate in the theatre’s current mainstage production “Winter Wonderland,” whose credits include Davenport Junior Theatre’s “Aeosp’s Falables” (A Rock Musical), which she co-directed alongside her husband Bobby Becher.

Another “Winter Wonderland” co-star, Bobby himself plays Horton the Elephant in Ashley’s production, with additional talents from Circa ’21’s evening show also appearing in “Seussical”: Erica Lee Bigelow (as Mayzie), Savannah Bay Strandin (as Gertrude), Tristan Layne Tapscott (as the Cat in the Hal), and “Winter Wonderland” playwright Brad Hauskins (as one of the Wickershams, alongside Evan Brody and Adam Sanders).

Sophia Kilburg, left, Evan Ross Brody, Ellerie Hurley, Tristan Tapscott

The show’s cast is completed by Sydney Dexter, Ellerie Hurley, Sophia Kilburg, Kirsten Sindelar and Megan Warren. “Seussical”‘s additional creative-team members include musical director Shelley Walljasper, costume designer Gregory Hiatt, stage manager Mel Maylum and production stage manager Kendall McKasson, who is also responsible for the show’s lighting and prop designs.

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