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Horton hears a ‘Seussical the Musical’ in Morgantown

By Jade Ruggieri

Fantastical. Magical. “Oh, the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’ beloved characters collide into one show.

Morgantown Theatre Company will present a play for people of all ages, “Seussical the Musical” from June 9-11 at the Metropolitan Theatre. Including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo – the audience will be transported through the Jungle of Nool, the Circus of McGurkus and the invisible world of the Whos.

Artistic and technical director Heath Kale said the overall theme is, “being different is OK.” Especially since COVID, Kale chose “Seussical the Musical” to help the children de-stress, too.

“Everybody needs escapism in some form or another, and I think this show is just fun,” Kale said. “It’s a show for kids but there are always adult themes in kids’ shows. There’s Mayzie the bird who abandons her egg, which is a heavy theme, so it’s educational in that aspect to learn different cultures and ideas.”  

Drew Mackey, who plays Horton in the show, enjoys the play because it combines all the aspects he loves about theater – singing, dancing and acting – while also pushing him to try something he has not done before.

“It’s [playing the role Horton] is outside any other role I’ve gotten to play in the past,” Mackey said. “I like being able to present Horton in a way where you can see his struggle and see how he changes over time. Sometimes you play a static character who doesn’t change, but Horton changes a lot throughout the show from the beginning to the end, and he never gives up”

As a youth-only ensemble, Morgantown Theatre Company strives to immerse school-age children in the theater arts and build self-confidence, responsibility and leadership skills.

Annie Hickman, who has done theater for 10 years, loves portraying The Cat in the Hat because it is fun — and he gets to create some mischief in the play.

“The cat and I are very similar,” Hickman said. “I just love the freedom of being able to improv[ise] some things and the cat is a part of both worlds – the Whos and the jungle people – so he makes mischief so they can both communicate.”

With colored lights and even more vibrant costumes, ‘Seussical the Musical’ tickets are available on the website, The 10 a.m. Friday show offers discounted tickets for children 12 and under.