Acting Up’s ‘Seussical the Musical’ a great night out for the whole family

Headshot of Breanna Redhead
Breanna RedheadBusselton Dunsborough Times
Seussical the Musical will run from July 1-16.
Camera IconSeussical the Musical will run from July 1-16. Credit: Breanna Redhead/BDT

Imagine stepping inside every childhood bedtime story you were read as a kid, with the added bonus of absolutely infectious showtunes — that is the the crux of Acting Up’s production of Seussical the Musical opening tonight at the Weld Theatre.

Right from the get go, the audience is drawn into the colourful and crazy world of Dr Seuss, the opening number, Oh the Things You Can Think, a fun game of Where’s Wally with all your favourite characters from the Seuss-iverse.

Featuring a strong cast of young people, you wouldn’t guess the majority of performers are below 18 given the high calibre of their performances.

Kelsi McKenna is a stand-out as Cast B's JoJo.
Camera IconKelsi McKenna is a stand-out as Cast B's JoJo. Credit: Breanna Redhead/BDT

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At the heart of the show is Kelsi McKenna as the imaginative JoJo. At just 13 years old Kelsi is a well-trained professional, who truly carries the show drawing the audience in to empathise with her dejected character, accompanied by sublime vocals and an unwavering American accent that is to be commended.

Guiding JoJo through his “thinks” is the Cat in the Hat, played with great comedic energy and delight by Emily Lyons, serving as the cheeky narrator to the story.

While not always the focus scene, Emily’s energy and commitment to character throughout generates a lot of laughs whenever she caught my eye with her hilarious background tidbits.

Particularly charming were Gertrude McFuzz and Horton the Elephant played with great sincerity by Jaycee Finlay and Drew Morgan respectively, each bringing a relatable authenticity to their roles with vocals blending well in memorable duet, Notice Me Horton.

A personal favourite performance came from the tiny but mighty Tiana LaMotte as the Sour Kangaroo, whose powerful vocals and sass owned the stage.

A production of Seussical cannot not go without mentioning the creativity in the costume, hair and make-up department to bring to life the unique Whoville look — done with expertise by Kylie McNamee and Saskia Coffey who managed to have hair sit at gravity-defying angles.

Also of note was Amber Knight’s enviable costume as the glamorous Maizie La Bird which looked like she’d stepped straight out of a Barbie movie.

Although being a double-cast production, I have great faith Cast A will prove just as wonderful as their Cast B counterparts and highly recommend this production to people of all ages, as it brings the perfect combination of nostalgia and new life to the stories you know and love.

Seussical will play at The Weld Theatre from July 1-16 with tickets available at trybooking.com/events/landing/869686.

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