Like Seuss? You’ll Love ‘Seussical’


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Austin Williams as The Cat, Katharine Mulderry as Mayzie La Bird, Maura Cuddihy as Gertrude McFuzz and Gabe Riccitelli as Horton (l-r, photo by Barbara Piercy)

Horton the Elephant is coming to H.B. Whitehorne Middle School next Friday and Saturday. So are The Cat in the Hat and Yertle the Turtle. That’s because more than 50 HBW students have been rehearsing since January to bring the stories of Dr. Seuss alive in the musical Seussical Jr. The kids have learned more than 30 songs, and have been working alongside their parents to create a wildly colorful stage and costumes.

The show, which is narrated by Austin Williams as The Cat In The Hat, follows the efforts of Horton (Gabe Riccitelli) to convince a wily world of Jungle Creatures that there really are Whos down in Whoville, including JoJo, played by C.J. Strlekar.

The show is directed by Brian Michalowski, a Verona native who graduated HBW just 8 years ago, with music direction by Barbara Piercy. “I am extremely proud of all the hard work these talented kids have put into this show,” Michalowski says. “It will truly be an experience to remember.”

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We caught up with Seussical’s performers this week, as they began their final days of rehearsals. You won’t see much of the costumes or stagecraft in the video below, but the cast’s singing and enthusiasm ought to be enough to convince you to put this show on your calendar.

The performances are Friday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 10 at 2 pm. Tickets, which are are $5 for students and $10 for adults, can be purchased at the door before each performance.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]



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