If you’ve been attending the Alhambra Theater & Dining, you may have a preference to what you think is good, better or best. According to this writer and her Granddaughter, “Seussical the Musical” is by far one of the best shows that the Alhambra has presented this year. If you like musicals, then you would have seen “Shrek the Musical”, “Phantom” and now you can add Seussical to your list of ‘must-see-shows’. Not just 5 stars, but this gets a 10 star rating.
There are quite a few actors in this musical that will be mentioned individually towards the end of this review; nonetheless, the opening number will have you spellbound as you begin to look towards the left, right, up the aisles, and then back to center stage. The music and voices are spectacular and the stage set is so colorful that wide-eyed stares could be noticed throughout the crowd. There are even flying puppets, manned by graceful puppeteers, to dazzle the eyes.
Laughter filled the auditorium, on Gala night, as a little child spoke back to Horton the Elephant during the song, “How Lucky You Are”, in the first act. By the way, did anyone see “Snyderman” (presenting sponsor for the production) come through the audience?
The huge ensemble and the main characters sing, act, and almost dance their socks off (as if they were wearing socks). Ten thumbs up to the master genius of Choreographer James Kinney and his assistant – Alex Nordin; and a hearty “well done” to Musical Director – Cathy Murphy Giddens.
Honors and congratulations also go out to Jason Nettle for his first attempt as Director for “Seussical the Musical” now showing at the Alhambra. You would never know that this was his first effort and it won’t be his last. You may remember Jason, who played Lord Farquaad in Shrek, as the resident stage manager of the Alhambra Theater & Dining for the past two years.
Where did managing partner Craig Smith, get such a tall actor to play the Grinch? If you take a look at the Slide Show, you should be able to imagine actor Austin Palmer appearing in last month’s “The 25th Putnam County Spelling Bee” as the ‘toe tapping speller’ William Barfée; now to be the Grinch. There is so much activity in this “Seussical the Musical” that Craig had to solicit more workers to protect the actors as they entered the main stage from the back hallway.
It takes a village of people to put on such an elaborate presentation as this, and the entire Production Staff (see your souvenir program on page 6) is to be commended. The colorful costumes in this assembly are magnificent and let it be known that Camala Pitts, Dorinda Quiles, Delon Rowan & Marlena Grogan designed and constructed more than 75% of the outfits for this theatrical display; simply breathtaking.
Kudos goes to previous Alhambra performers: Kevin Covert – Horton the Elephant; Matthew Jay Campbell – General Gengis Kahn Schmitz; Jereme Raickett – Mayor; Rachel Anton – Mayor’s Wife; Lindsay Sutton – Gertrude McFuzz; Austin Palmer – The Grinch. Ensemble: Shawna Walker, Olivia Chernyshev, Caitlin Doak, Cornelius Davis, Michael Lomeka, Taylor Halsema, & Abby Davey.
And those newcomers to the Alhambra stage: Oliver Rumney – JoJo; Benjamin Smith – Cat in the Hat; Linzy Lauren – Sour Kangaroo; Zoe Kassay – Mayzie La Bird. Ensemble: Rachel Romo, David Tanciar, Alexander Aponte, Kane Carter & Avery Sedlacek.
This columnist had more fun at this show than when the “Blue Man Group” came to town. Grab your tickets for “Seussical the Musical” today and treat the kiddos too. Don’t forget to see what you’ll be eating in the follow-up menu review.
“Seussical the Musical”
Dates: June 24 – Aug.2, 2015
New Show Times: 7:30 p.m. for evening performances Tuesday through Sunday. Doors open at 5:15 p.m., and dinner will be served until 7 p.m. Matinees on Saturdays are at 1:15 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch starts at 11:15 a.m. Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. Doors open at noon and the meal starts at 12:15 p.m.
Dress: “Business Casual” or “Sunday Best”.
Tickets: Regular pricing for tickets range from $35 – $59. Ticket prices include: a plated dinner served to your table, an incredible show and prime parking. Also available is the Family Four Pack, which offers four tickets for $149 ($60 off the regular pricing). Group sales of 20 + are available upon request. Price does not include gratuity or orders from the bar.
Location: Alhambra Theater & Dining
12000 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32246