(Review) Seussical the Musical is here in Singapore!

Sunday, November 08, 2015


We managed to catch Seussical the Musical on their opening night and it is ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT FANTASTICAL, BOMBASTICAL AND SONGTASTICAL!! Direct from the UK tour, ABA Productions and Diva Productions proudly presents Seussical the Musical at the Esplanade Theatre over the weekend. Today is the last day of the performance and if you are still thinking of going, I say GO GET YOUR TICKETS FROM SISTIC now! 

We were greeted with this stage set-up when we entered the theatre. A blue slide on the stage left, and a treetop walk kind of platform make the whole stage look fun and exciting. The signature Hat of The Cat is brightly lit by the spotlights. Something about the Hat intrigues me, with some magic that is about to happen to bring all of us on an adventure into the magical, fantastical world of Dr. Seuss. 

And I was right. 

Here are 5 reasons why we gave thumbs Up for Seussical the Musical!

:: Impressive performance by the cast
We were captivated by the energetic cast right from the start of the opening song. The 10-member cast brought us into the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss with their powerful vocals in this fast-paced musical. Everyone was amazingly good, but I'll like to highlight the main characters that attracted my attention most - Alexander Faith (Horton the elephant), Elliot Fitzpatrick (The Cat in the Hat), Holly Easterbrook (Mayzie la Bird) and Rosemary Annabella (Sour Kangaroo). The spunky dance moves, accompanied by the upbeat songs, made me wanna jump out of my seat and dance along with them. 

:: Fantastic mash-up of Dr. Seuss stories
Seussical the Musical cleverly weaves in characters of Dr. Seuss stories like Horton hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and Miss Gertrudge McFuzz. If you are expecting Seussical to be an exact interpretation of the books, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that it is not. In fact, I would say it's fantabulously better. 

Seussical the Musical follows the adventures of Horton the Elephant who discovers a small world, named Whoville, floating by on a tiny speck of dust. This small world is floating out of control through the universe and is caught is the home of the Whos, including Jojo – a Who with “thinks” and have all those wonderful fantasies in his head, but only to be faced with disapprovals especially from his parents. 

Being the only one outside Whoville who can hear Jojo, Horton and Jojo must find a way to save Who from a world of naysayers and dangers. 

But Horton faces a double challenge, he’s been left alone to guard an abandoned egg, abandoned by none other than Mayzie La Bird, the beautiful and vain bird who finds great pleasure being admired and being in the spotlight. 

Caught between a dust speck and his incubating egg, Horton is truly alone in the universe, but while he faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and ends up on trial, little does he know the intrepid Ms Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him.

:: The message of friendship, love and acceptance
Hidden amidst the comedic and wacky story, lies a heartwarming message for all who think deeper into the story plot. 

Here we see Horton, a faithful and empathetic elephant who is gentle and big, as a outcast in a world of agile, quick and opinionated jungle animals. He yearns to connect with those in need and to be connected with another being who cares and values him. His words "A person's a person, no matter how small..." shows that big and tender heart he has for even the littlest ones which are invisible to him. Isn't that what we want to see in our real world too? 

Being so preoccupied with his mission to protect the egg and the town of Who, he is oblivious to girl-bird Gertrude's affection for him. The ending for this oddly-paired couple is good, as with all good endings, and Horton realises that he can receive love as well as to give it. 

As for Jojo, living in a society that doesn't care about any of the things he holds dear to his heart makes him feel unseen and unappreciated by his people. He longs for a friend with whom to share his wondrous thoughts with. In one scene, he fantasies about an underground river that is connected to his bathtub, and his imagination starts to expand with creativity. But this is soon disrupted by his parents, who are angry and cold blankets to his fantasies, and only notice the trouble he creats - water running under the door, flooding the floor. I paused for a moment while watching the performance, and made a mental note to be less like Mr and Mrs Mayor with regards to L's antics. 

Gertrude, a bird with a one-feathered droopy tail, is a sweet little bird who is more comfortable observing others than being in the centre of attention. She doesn't quite fit in the world of flamboyant birds, and feels unattractive and socially insecure. However she soon realises that changing her physical appearance is not the solution. She refocusses on what is most important to her, and dedicates herself to help Horton in his pursuits. Inner beauty triumphs over looks for her and her love for Horton is finally reciprocated. 

The last strong character that impacted me is Sour Kangaroo (ooo, that voice, that Voice she has!) . A diva queen of the jungle, she has style and flair, but she is also hard-hearted towards anything or anyone that is not realistic. But even the most resistant heart will still soften when convinced. When Sour Kangaroo realises she is wrong, and that Horton is right about the invisible Whoville after all, she is quick to acknowledge it and pledges to care for the Whos. 

There are many more learning points from this musical which you can discuss with your little ones. 

:: The Cat in the Hat 

The Cat, as in Dr. Seuss' books, comes with kind intentions, although mischievous. He loves to have fun provoking change in the lives of those around him, using risky tactics, but always leading to a good end. He is the narrator and host of the whole musical, and gels each scene so beautifully. 

His comedic personality and nimble moves brought laughs to the audience. That is why thick-skinned-me must take a picture with him during the Meet-and-Greet session. 

:: Songs, songs, catchy songs

Oh the thinks you can think!
Oh the thinks you can think
If you're willing to try...

Think invisible ink!
Or a gink with a stink! 
Or a stair to the sky...

This song has been stuck in my head till now!! Every song expressed the dialogues and thoughts of the characters so well. There were catchy songs like Oh, the Thinks you can think!, Amazing Mayzie and meaningful ones that touched my heart like It's Possible and Amazing Gertrude. The people behind these brilliant songs are Stephen Flaherty (for the music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics). Now, Ch and I have our own sing-along sessions while listening to Youtube videos of Seussical soundtracks. *You can get the Seussical soundtracks from this Youtube playlist

Overall, my whole family enjoyed Seussical very very much. We are still thinking and talking about the musical, and listening to the songs. This fast-paced musical is approximately 75 minutes without interval. I feel that the musical is more suitable for children above 6 years old as the younger ones may not follow and understand the lyrics that well. 

As part of the KidsFest Singapore, ABA Productions presents many other world-class theatre performances for our children! Check out their website for more info. Or follow KidsFest Singapore on Facebook for updates of their shows. 

So now, it's time for us to visit the library to get the other Dr Seuss books which we have not read, and to buy the soundtrack!

Disclosure: We thank ABA Productions and Asia PR Werkz for the invite. We received complimentary tickets to attend the event for this review. No monetary compensation was given and all opinions are ours. All pictures are provided by ABA Productions unless specified. 

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