THE curtain comes up on Tamworth Musical Society’s latest production Seussical The Musical tonight where half the cast of 30 or so are actually schoolkids having the time of their lives in a fantasy story that their parents grew up with.
The musical comedy is based on the works of Dr Seuss – and for baby boomers and their now grown-up kids, it is a classic literary look at characters and stories most haven’t forgotten.
Reading bedtime stories became a colourful chore for plenty when it came to The Cat in the Hat, or The Grinch That Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who, even silly people with sillier names like Yertle the turtle, and McElligot.
Dr Seuss books introduced us to a new reading age where there was a naughty sense of fun and some manic behaviour that gave kids squeals of delight and left smiles on their parents’ faces.
So, that’s what’s to be expected in this season’s run of Seussical at the Capitol Theatre – and for director Geraldine Palmer, there’s a wonderful sense of anticipation right now, although a couple of days ago she was more than just suffering first-night nerves.
“It’s an incredible, wonderful story,” says Palmer, the wife of Jason Palmer, who’s directed any number of previous society productions, like most notably Shout!, but it’s Geraldine, who is flying solo for the first time after having co-directed a few previous to this.
She says it’s 220 minutes of colourful stuff where the music is awesome.
The youngest cast member is nine and there’s another 15 or so school kids, many of them from Oxley High, who are playing alongside their Oxley drama teacher Sean McInnes who plays The Cat in The Hat character.
While Palmer leaves the on-stage antics to everyone else and solely directs, she’s also in the company of family, too.
Her daughters Katt Nolland and baby girl Brea Boston are in the show as well – and it was the motherly thing that originally introduced Palmer to theatre here.
Tamworth born-and-bred, the theatre was something of a babysitter back a decade ago when Katt got involved and Palmer went along as mum dragging the other child with her.
It captivated all three and not long after, Brea, at the age of just seven, introduced herself to the director of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and sold him on using her because she knew all the words, too.
Publicist Ann Walsh describes the music in this Seussical as particularly amazing, because although there’s no famous old songs, there’s every sound with an upbeat tune.
“So I suppose you could say there’s music that sounds like the Beach Boys, and then there’s music that sounds like songs from other famous shows,” says Walsh.
“There’s every genre and it’s really quite fun.
“A lot of the music has tunes that link like threads to each other.”
Seussical will play 12 sessions between tonight and May 24, including Saturday and Sunday night, again on Wednesday, Friday, next Saturday and Sunday and then on Wednesday, May 21, Friday, May 23 and the last night on Saturday, May 24. In between there’s two matinee sessions for the two last weekend Saturdays.