Two weeks ago, my family and I got the chance to watch Seussical, The Musical at the Connexus Arts Centre in Regina as performed by the Do It With Class Young People’s Theatre. This was the first show I had seen the DIWC perform and to say I was blown away would be an understatement. The show was the ideal family-friendly experience. It took the classic story of Horton Hears a Who and combined it with other Dr. Seuss classics from Yertle the Turtle to The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to McElligot’s Pool to create a unique and inspiring musical performance. But as much as I loved the plot, it was the incredibly talented cast that really brought it to life.
The skill of the Do It With Class Young People’s Theatre is amazing. The theatre group is comprised of youth performers between ten and nineteen years old from all over Southern Saskatchewan. As Saskatchewan’s only troupe consisting solely of youth performers, Do It With Class gives talented children and teenagers a chance to develop their skills, perform across the province and make connections that will last a lifetime.
Seeing the way these students lit up the stage was absolutely fantastic. Braeden Woods carried the action as the mischievous and energetic Cat in the Hat, while Ben Korol and Mayson Sonntag added depth and emotion in their roles as the dreamers of the show, Ben as Horton the Elephant and Mayson as the misunderstood little Who Jojo. And while most people might forget poor Gertrude McFuzz, I’m sure that nobody at Wednesday’s evening performance did! Chelsea Woodard’s half comical and half heart-wrenching portrayal of the plain little bird with a one-feather tail was frankly unforgettable.
One of the other things I especially loved about the show was the way that the animal characters were represented with fun and clever accessories and choreography instead of with large, cumbersome costumes. The “birds” wore cute feather headdresses, feather boas and pinned-on tails. The bothersome Wickersham Brother monkeys were played by six teenage boys (giggle!) and while their shorts and white t-shirts were quite simple costumes, the frolicking choreography was just brilliant and really conveyed the sense of mischief that fit with the story.
Seussical, The Musical was the final show of the 2011/2012 season for DIWC. The past season was sponsored by Saskatchewan Credit Unions and other amazing local businesses helped fund the last performance of the year. Sponsorships and volunteers are a big part what make the Do It With Class Young People’s Theatre possible but the show demonstrated the phenomenal results of that sponsorship. The singing was top-notch, the choreography was engaging and my entire family was captivated by the show. In fact, the boys were singing some of the songs and talking about their favourite parts for days afterwards!
To learn more about the DIWC Young People’s Theatre, why not head over to the Do It With Class Facebook page or follow @DIWC on Twitter? And if you’re in Southern Saskatchewan and you have the chance to support these amazing performers by seeing one of the upcoming DIWC performances, don’t miss out! The next season will feature The Little Prince, Twelfth Night and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. From what I saw, I’m sure that it will be another fabulous season for DIWC!