Singing the praises of a great children’s author |

Singing the praises of a great children’s author

Sam Bauman
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Kenzie Tillett as "Thing 1"

What is there to say about a delightfully daft musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss? It’s clever, it’s fun and it has a cast large enough to fill the stage to capacity.

Carson High School drama teacher Karen Chandler is at the helm, and she steers her cast around with both wit and authority. And what a cast. They’re all good, but of course the leads have the stage time, the songs and dialog.

The “Cat in the Hat” is Domenic Procaccini II, who graduated last year but came back for the role. He’s lost his amateur standing now and gives the Cat a dazzling, whirly cast. When he’s on stage, things seem to sparkle just a little bit more.

His foil is Melody Ricketts as JoJo/Boy, a 9- or 10-year-old (nobody was sure) who has a winsome smile, a stage presence beyond her years and a voice that needs no microphone to fill the hall. She’s a charmer, and if you’re not careful you’ll watch her and miss the rest of the action. (Yes, her role is called JoJo/Boy, but she’s all girl.)

There’s not a lot of sense in trying to summarize the plot. If you know your Dr. Seuss you’ll get along just fine. And if you don’t, you may do even better as you meet these rollicking characters.

Philip Wortman is Horton the Elephant (in a dingy pair of dungarees). He moves the action along melodically.

Rebecca Jolly is Gertrude McFuzz, and she swoops around in a bright yellow costume and almost steals the show. Her rendition of “One Feather Tail” whoops along. Likewise for Elise Sala as the Sour Kangaroo, with her “Biggest Blame Fool.” Andie Anderson (an ’03 CHS alum who stepped in to help) doesn’t fly as Mayzie La Bird, but she doesn’t need to. She flits birdlike

Dakota Dutcher, Josh Rankin and Gus DeBacco slither around the stage as the Wickersham Brothers to droll effect. And Jeremiah James as General Gengus Khan Schmitz towers militarily.

And we haven’t even got to the Whos – the Grinch (Jonathan Josten), the Dog (Hollie Eiswert), Mr. Mayor (Justin Kaylor), Mrs. Mayor (Caitlin Berger), Cindy Lou (Elysa Guttered) and all the rest.

There’s a new maestro in the pit, Felicia Wirgau, new at CHS. She keeps the 18-piece orchestra in tune and in time.

Stewart Peebles and Ann Cosens are vocal directors; Procaccini is the choreographer, Chandler and Pat Josten are the producers. Chandler is also the sound operator.

Performances to the frothy bit of nonsense are Friday and Saturday and April 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center, and Sunday and April 1-2 at 2 p.m.

And certainly, a tip of the stripped hat to Dr. Seuss.

• Contact reporter Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.