It’s A Wild Seuss Chase when “Seussical The Musical” plays July 7-22 at SCERA Shell

(Orem, Utah) — SCERA President and CEO Adam J. Robertson and Shawn M. Mortensen, who has twice played the Cat in the Hat, fondly remember SCERA’s 2004 production of “Seussical.” This time around, Mortensen takes on the musical as the director and choreographer, and is passing the acting hat to Eric James Smith and says, “I can’t imagine handing the role over to anyone else!”

Mortensen continues, “I love this show, and I have a strong, personal vision for it. I just could not bear to have anyone else to take the reins. I think there is a place for intense, powerful and beautiful artistic pieces. But I like grand spectacles that make people go ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh,’ and that is what ‘Seussical’ does for me.”

“Seussical The Musical” will open July 7 and continue through July 22 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. at the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre, located at 699 South State in the middle of Orem’s SCERA Park.  Adult general admission is $12 and tickets for children 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and older are $10.  There are specific areas for blankets or you may rent a first come, first-serve chair for $1.00. Reserved tickets areas are also available for an additional cost. $6 discounted tickets are available for non-profit or church groups of 20 or more purchased in advance.  Tickets are available at www.scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS, in person at the SCERA Center for Arts (745 S. State St., Orem) between 10am-6pm weekdays or at the Shell one hour prior to show time.

The family favorite features the mischievous Cat in the Hat and other favorite Dr. Seuss characters who collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper. Such classic characters as Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie and the Whos of Whoville are brought together by JoJo, a “thinker of wonderful thinks” who transports the audience to the Jungle of Nool, the Circus McGurkus, and the invisible Who world for an adventure of epic proportions.

“’Seussical’ offers great family entertainment and encompasses many of our favorite Dr. Seuss stories,” Mortensen adds. “It’s refreshingly original, has a great score and lots of fun moments that keep children’s attention. The nice thing about this bright and positive show is that you get many of the lessons you learned from reading Dr. Seuss’s iconic stories. You learn to believe in yourself while being strong and committed. The stories enhance your imagination, and the lessons from tales like ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ stay with you throughout your life. ‘Seussical’ helps us believe we are stronger than we think. The possibilities are endless.”

Among the leads of the are Eric James Smith as the Cat in the Hat, Kyle Baugh as Horton the Elephant, Seth Sherman as JoJo, Emily Bennett as Gertrude McFuzz, Abbey Wood as Mayzie, and Dan and Amy Hixson as Mayor and Mrs. Mayor. Several of the Hixson children are in the play, part of the SCERA’s commitment to include families. In support of that belief, Mortensen’s wife Lisa and daughter Paisley are in the ensemble as Whos. “It’s a great way for families to share creative experiences,” he says.

Mortensen is using Cole McClure to design the set. “It’s fairly wild,” Mortensen says. “We do have the typical Seussian construction in that we have the archways and Truffala trees that are iconic with Seuss. Audiences may even be surprised when they see that the jungle of Nool is upside down. Seuss liked to look at the world differently, and we’re helping our audiences to do the same.”

The production staff also includes Delayne Dayton as musical director, Danielle Berry as stage manager, Kelsey Seaver as costume designer, Seth Mergist as light designer and Christy Norton as props designer.

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