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Kristen Harrell as Mazie and Jamie Young, Kathleen Ingalls and Kelly Rowland as Bird Girls perform in ''Seussical.'' (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)

Kristen Harrell as Mazie and Jamie Young, Kathleen Ingalls and Kelly Rowland as Bird Girls perform in ''Seussical.'' (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)

ACTS goes whimsical with next production, ‘Seussical’

Last Modified: Thursday, May 09, 2013 10:48 AM

By Cliff Seiber / American Press

Color and whimsy will blossom on the ACTS Theatre stage Friday evening and continue through this weekend and next as the troupe presents “Suessical, the Musical.”

The Artists Civic Theatre and Studio production of the Broadway hit will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, May 10-11 and 17-18 and 3 p.m. Sundays, May 12 and 19.

“Seussical the Musical” is more than a fluff show, Director Hailey Ford Coburn said.

“It has a strong message about treating others as we want to be treated. I have loved it since I first saw it. It is colorful visually as well as with its action.”

“This production is blessed with a cast of 35 and lots of parental support,” she said. “I have enjoyed working with the performers.”

In addition to parents, students at McNeese State University have chipped in to help the younger performers, Coburn said. “It is truly a group effort.”

“ ‘Seussical’ can be done minimally, but we thought this theater needed to do it colorfully, more like television’s ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,’” she said, “so the crew has been working diligently on costumes and makeup.”

The musical combines elements of several of the Dr. Seuss fables and characters.

The Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing the entire population of Whoville. Included is JoJo, a “Who child” sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton is taunted for mothering Mayzie LaBird’s egg, while Gertrude McFuzz, longs for his attention. JoJo’s “thinks” save all of Whoville.

The show debuted on Broadway in 2000 and has featured many famous actors portraying the Cat in the Hat including Cathy Rigby, Rosie O’Donnell and Andrea Martin. It enjoyed a Broadway run of over 200 performances.

Principal players include Julian Quebedeaux as the Cat in the Hat, Taylor Simon as Horton, Kelly Rowland as Gertrude McFuzz and Kristen Harrell as Mayzie LaBird. Alternating in the role of JoJo are Bailey George and Maya Jamison.

Coburn, who has performed internationally, made her ACTS debut in “Kiss Me, Kate.” She was recently on the ACTS stage in “9 to 5: The Musical” and “Into the Woods.” She holds a bachelor of arts in music education from Ouachita Baptist University and her master of music theater from Oklahoma City University. She sings in the Cavern band at Trinity Baptist Church with her husband Bo and teaches private voice lessons.

In addition to teaching music in Cameron Parish Schools, Coburn runs her own business, Crown and Glory Entertainment.

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