‘Seussical’ opens Nov. 4

November 2, 2005

This Friday, the imaginative world of Theodore Geisel — better known as Dr.Seuss — comes to the Bowe Theatre, as the HRV performing arts department presents “Seussical! The Musical.” Opening night marks the beginning of a three-weekend run.

“Seussical” ran on Broadway in 2000, including a short appearance by Rosie O’Donnell as The Cat in The Hat. The musical, with book, music, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, toured the country twice and has become wildly popular with school, community, and regional theaters.

Director Mark Steighner says that “just like with the books of Dr. Seuss, the audience must engage their imagination — it’s a very participatory show that way.”

Steighner noted that the score is a virtual catalogue of popular musical style.

“There are funk, blues, ragtime, rock, pop, and torch songs. Each character expresses themselves through a distinctive musical style. For instance, the Sour Kangaroo always sings in an ‘R&B’ style, while the Whos have a ragtime approach.” The writers were also responsible for the Tony-award-winning musical, “Ragtime.”

The HRV production began rehearsals in August, and typically includes a large cast of students, ranging in age from 8 to 18.

At least six schools are represented by the cast. Leads include Kelsey Brauer as The Cat in the Hat, Joel Valle as Horton the Elephant, Sarah Nuss as Gertrude McFuzz, Julie Stanley as Mayzie LaBird, and Ben Sheppard as General Ghengis Khan Schmitz. Elijah Maletz plays JoJo, a young boy in whose imagination the characters come to life.

Although the setting for “Seussical” is minimal, costuming the dozens of actors has been a large task. Parent volunteers Kelli Wade, LaJuana Decker, Kathy Peldyak and designers at Helen’s Pacific Costumes in Portland have all had a hand in the show. Lynne Schuepbach has added a number of artistic touches to the design of the set as well.

The show is suitable for all ages and runs Nov. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, and 19 at 7 p.m., and Nov. 5, 12, and 19 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and children, and are available at Waucoma Books and at the door.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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