As a child, I have never been a fan of Dr. Seuss. I don’t really know why. Perhaps it was because we didn’t have his books at home or maybe because I didn’t appreciate his cryptic rhyming verses. I much preferred the straightforward fairy tales that my dad read to us, with matching translation to the vernacular.
(Above Photo: Theater entrance)
When I attended the musical Seussical: Theater for Young Audiences last Sunday, however, I was quite surprised to realize that I enjoyed it a lot. Although Dr. Seuss did not appeal to my kiddie self, he very much touched my adult heart.
(Above Photo: Waiting in line at the theater entrance.)
I think that there are very valuable lessons to be learned from the play; lessons that even small children can understand. This is not to say that the play was in any way preachy. On the contrary, it was a delightful mix of interesting characters who are each amusing in their own way, brilliant set design complementing colorful costumes, and a jolly repertoire of catchy songs.
Here are the lessons that stuck most to me:
1. “A person’s a person no matter how small.” This line was sang by Horton the elephant when he first discovered Whoville, a town no bigger than a speck of dust. Although others disbelieved and mocked him, he was fervent in his defense of the little people called Whos. This line, in my opinion, is very essential to our existence as human beings. To be truly human, we must learn to be humane. This is only possible if we first acknowledge that everyone out there is a person worthy of respect, no matter how inferior they may seem to us.
2. “…think and wonder and dream far and wide as you dare. When your thinks have run dry, in a blink of an eye, there’s another think there…” This song was sang at the very onset of the play. It’s so catchy and perfect, that it can liven even the weary souls at the audience. The message is clear and simple: don’t stop thinking and dreaming. As Descartes has said, “Cogito ergo sum,” – I think, therefore I am.
The only thing that saddened me about the play was that we weren’t allowed to eat inside the theater. I bought a huge box of popcorn that I couldn’t bring inside. Nevertheless, this is a standard theater rule, so I can’t really complain. I’m just being my usual piggy self.
Lastly, before I forget, I also loved how the show engaged the young audiences throughout its duration. There was even a part where artworks submitted by kids where flashed on screen as part of the story. That was really something. I think if I was a kid, I’d be very happy if I saw my masterpiece being displayed on stage.
Because cameras weren’t allowed inside the theater, I do not have any photos of the actual play to show you. The best thing I can find online is this clip from Repertory Philippines (but the cast isn’t wearing the actual costumes here):
Also ABS-CBN NEWS has an article about the play with actual photos so check that out if you want.