‘Seussical’ Taps Kids’ Talents at SCR

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The Huntley brothers of Newport Beach appearing in “Seussical” at South Coast Repertory. From left: Mitchell Huntley, who plays several roles; Nicholas Huntley as the Mayor of Who; and Christopher Huntley as one of the mischievous Wickersham Brothers.

A 31-member cast, the largest ever assembled for an SCR Players show, will appear in the Summer Players production of “Seussical” Aug. 11-12 and 18-19 on South Coast Repertory’s Julianne Argyros Stage.

Based on selections from the enormously popular works of Dr. Seuss, “Seussical” is directed by SCR Theatre Conservatory Director Hisa Takakuwa, with musical direction by Erin McNally.

Summer Players are students in the SCR’s Kids and Teen Acting Program who have been chosen by audition after at least one year in the Theatre Conservatory. According to Takakuwa, “Last summer, we opened our casting pool to include recent graduates for the first time, allowing us to choose ‘Into the Woods,’ which required more mature and experienced performers to raise the level for the younger actors in the show.

“Because of that great experience, we were motivated to choose this huge musical, hire a choreographer (Kelly Todd) for the first time, include three graduates in the cast, bring in a fourth graduate, Jordan Bellow (a senior/BFA in theatre performance at Chapman University), as assistant director, and a fifth, Brianna Beach (a recent graduate of UC San Diego), as assistant musical director.”

As rehearsals began, Takakuwa added, “Our cast is embracing this musical, enjoying the song and dance but also working hard to understand their characters. Even though many of the Dr. Seuss characters are fantastical, all of them have great heart and qualities that our actors can identify with and enjoy portraying.”

In “Seussical,” Cat in the Hat is the host and Horton the Elephant is the guide on a journey from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the World of the Whos, as a little boy with a big imagination proves that a person is a person no matter how small.

Saturdays, Aug. 11 and 18, and Sundays, Aug. 12 and 19, at 1 and 5 p.m.
Tickets $12 children; $14 adults. For details and tickets, call 714-708-5555 or visit scr.org.

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