Reviewed by Kathleen Kirby
A long time favorite purveyor of mischief came to life on the Bower Theatre stage this week! Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat has been playing to children’s groups all week and winds up its run today. If you missed it, we’re sorry – it was a wonderfully colorful, comical, musical, and wacky show that the kids in Friday night’s audience loved loudly!
Director Kay Kelly chose the Katie Mitchell adaptation of this beloved Suess story possibly to ensure the delight of both parents and their offspring. It begins with the children, Boy (Ronan Streby) and Sally (Molly Jones) facing a day home alone in a rainstorm. Unable to play outside, they must find things to do inside – not an easy task. In addition, they seem to be watched over by a large, flashy goldfish (Michaela Nogaj) that behaves more like a parent than a pet!
Suddenly a knock on the door brings a very large cat (LaTroy Childress) sporting a tall striped hat onto the scene accompanied by three partners in mischief, Kitten #1 (Evan Brewer), Kitten #2 (Zoe Proctor), and Kitten #3 (Maya Sawyer). At this point the fun begins as the entire audience is drawn into the fun. Ever larger beach balls are launched into the audience causing, as we might expect, a competitive and rousing spirit to ensue.
Once the beach balls are retrieved, a large crate appears onstage and two Things are released to run further riot! Young twins Lucas and William Eldredge are perfect as Thing #1 and Thing #2 respectively. It is this bushy blue-haired duo that manages to truly cause havoc as they run about flying their kites in the house.
Fifties music rocks and rolls throughout as all this action happens. Childress is a marvelous Cat – long and lanky with a variety of crazy gymnastic moves and funny facial expressions – his only problem seemed to be a hoarse voice Friday. His energy and enthusiasm were perfection.
Finally, the word went out that Mom was coming home! What to do? Cat and Kittens manage to put things back but at play’s end asked the audience what they would tell Mom about their crazy day. As if on cue, one youngster in the audience blurted out “I would tell her the truth!” It was a perfect ending to a wonderfully fun 45 minutes with Dr. Suess!
One more performance remains – today at 2 pm. Grab the kids and get there if you can! Call 810.237.1530 to check for tickets.