The much loved world of Dr Seuss came to life in an explosion of colour and sound in the Years 7 to 12 musical, Seussical the Musical.
Five sparkling performances were staged over four nights this week and showcased the musical and acting talents of students in Years 7 to 12. Directed by Laura Rickhuss, Head of Theatre and Productions, KDS has once more set the benchmark for outstanding musical theatre.
Adam Yee, Music Director, conducted an orchestra composed of current students, alumni and instrumental teaching staff in a live musical accompaniment to each performance.
According to Adam, this production “is the highest energy production to date”. Laura added that “it is testament to the vocal, musical and acting talents of our students, that we were able to present a show that oozed vitality and charm”.
Vocal Director, Dermot Tutty, with his exacting standards and ability to elicit the best from our performers has once more extended our students’ repertoire to the delight of the audiences.
There were many standout performances. With an impressive display of vocal, dance and improvisational ability, Isaac Moulton, Year 12, delivered a highly memorable and entertainingly malevolent characterization of the whimsical Cat in the Hat. The outstanding tap routine with which Isaac extended the character of the cat, enabled the audience to understand why he has been chosen to represent Australia in the World Dance Titles in Germany.
Gertrude McFuzz, played by Danielle Carey, Year 12 was naively endearing. The sweet innocence of this character served as a good instrument to convey the purity of her vocal tone. Jarred Sibel, Year 12 gave a wonderfully relaxed and confident interpretation of Mr Mayor; he and Simone Chait were a perfectly matched, vocally aligned couple leading the Whos.
The involvement and commitment of Year 12 students, Isaac, Danielle, Jarred, Ike Curtis (percussion), Eleanor Lipp (violin), Gabriela Pecherskiy (flute), Adam Weitzer (clarinet) and Louis Wyatt (double bass) is inspiring as they prepare for their final VCE exams.
Sara Reed’s sultry portrayal of irresponsible “good time gal”, Mayzie La Bird was extremely polished and brilliantly entertaining. Itai Franco’s beautiful vocals and touching portrayal drew the audience to him as the ever-faithful Horton the Elephant. Michaela Cohen’s vivacious Jojo was perfectly executed. Noa Opat as Sour Kangaroo channelled Aretha Franklin showing her versatility and talent. She was strongly supported by her apprentice, Young Kangaroo played by Sidra Nissen, Year 5. Benji Splitter’s characterization of General Genghis Khan Schmitz was appropriately militaristic until his final capitulation when Jojo stands up to him. Jayden Casselson shone as Yertle the Turtle and the Grinch and we look forward to watching his growth in performing arts.
The ensemble work displayed balance and contributed to the depth of the story and visual spectacle. The Wickershams and Bird Girls convincingly created the heartless, hostile world so many experience. Thing 1 and Thing 2 and the Jungle Citizens evoked the Dr Seuss stories and portrayed the busy, sometimes irrational environments in which sensitive souls such as Horton find themselves. The Whos showed their vulnerability and resilience through songs and dance routines.
The success of this production has been driven by Producer, Gordon Dorin who has masterminded the intricacies and detail required to stage this show.
Thanks to the students of the Backstage Crew and Follow Spot Operators without whom the Show could not have gone on.
Thanks also to the students who were makeup artists and Front of House.
After last night’s final performance, Michele Bernshaw euphorically commented, “The audience came away from the performance, uplifted and excited as well as proud of our students. Kol HaKavod to Laura Rickhuss, Adam Yee, Dermot Tutty and Gordon Dorin, the instrumental teachers and other teaching staff involved in delivering such an outstanding musical event.”