Everett A Marysville-Pilchuck High School senior, Joe Royal, plays Cat in the Hat in the Village Theatres KIDSTAGE Summer Stock Everett through Aug. 19 at the Everett Performing Arts Center.
Among the 35 advanced young actors in fifth through 12th grade who are in the show, three are students in Marysville and one is from Lakewood.
At age 17, Royal has already performed in 22 KIDSTAGE productions, starting at age 13. He has also appeared in high school productions.
Its awesome being Cat in the Hat because everyone knows the characters, Royal said.
I grew up on Dr. Suess and as Cat in the Hat I play many different characters. His favorite is the Amazing Palm Beach Carmen Miranda, who wears a fruit hat. Royal has been taking voice lessons for three years and hopes to continue doing theater after high school. Ill see where life takes me.
Playing two of the three Wickershams are Nick Dominski, a sixth grader at Lakewood Middle School, and Toby Simcox, a 14-year-old resident of Marysville who is home schooled,
A sixth-grade student at Grace Academy in Marysville, Nick Pitocco plays a Who and a Yurtle, too. He lives in Lake Stevens.
Dominski and Simcox said that their Wickersham characters are mischievous monkeys who like to tease Horton. This is Dominskis sixth show with KIDSTAGE, and its his favorite part yet. Were just your average mean kids, Dominski said. Its easy for me to play because they are just over the top, just like me.
Dominski has not done any theater in school, but he is studying oboe with the school band. Dominski said he first studied dance at Marysville Performing Arts Center. He likes KIDSTAGE because he gets to sing as well as act and dance, too. The friends and the fitness are important, too, he said. He is looking forward to high school so that he can do some acting there, too.
Simcox is making his stage debut with KIDSTAGE, although he has been in a few little school plays. The Wickershams are silly minions who cause a lot trouble, he said. He feels the same as Dominski. Its fun to act full out like a monkey, he said. I get to act myself.
Dominskis favorite song in the show is Monkey Around and Simcox likes best Biggest Playing Fool. Simcox said he took some singing lessons for the play and that the dancing is the hardest part for him. He also plays fiddle as well as mandolin and performed at Marysvilles HomeGrown Festival Friday, Aug. 10.
Pitocco encourages the public to see the show because its so much fun. He said he decided to try out for the show because he wanted to do something more than just hang out with friends all summer. He certainly has accomplished that, at the young actors have worked five days a week for the past six weeks to prepare for the show.
The music for Seussical was created by the writing team behind the musical, Ragtime.
In Seussical, the cherished Dr. Seuss books have been turned into a fantastic magical musical extravaganza.
Along with Royals Cat in the Hat there is Horton the Elephant played by Dan Skubi, Gertrude McFuzz is played by Emily Swanby, Caitlin Kinnunen, of Camano Island, plays Lazy Mayzie and then there is all of the Whos of Whoville, including Pitocco.
The musical is a toe-tapping cornucopia of musical styles ranging from Latin to pop, swing to gospel, and R&B to funk.
This is the best production of Seussical ever, Royal said.
Our director has made it a fun and perfect story that makes sense, more than other productions.
KIDSTAGE productions are directed and produced by theater professionals who provide the young actors with the opportunity to learn from the best. All performances are by KIDSTAGE students and classes are taught by professional theatrical instructors.
Its our model to hire professionals to work with the young actors, said Heather Carlyle, the youth education coordinator for KIDSTAGE.
The director of Seussical is Shanna Marie Palmer, a talented performer who has appeared on stage at the 5th Avenue Theatre, as well as in Village Theatre Mainstage productions.
Musical direction is by Dave Close, in his third round of directing music for Suessical in various local productions. Production design of sets, costumes and props is by veteran KIDSTAGE designer Betsy Stam, and lighting design is by William McCoubrey.
KIDSTAGE Program Manager Janet Cole Hamilton said that the young actors a facing an extra special challenge in this show.
The production employs the use of a double revolve in the set as the story moves the audience through several of Seusss worlds, she said.
The cast is learning how to best use this theatrical staging device to help advance narrative.
Village Theatres KIDSTAGE is a year-round performing arts training program in Issaquah, Everett and Stanwood for young people ages 3-20. It is designed to encourage teamwork, personal integrity, self-esteem and a life-long appreciation for live theater.
Its very exciting to see these young people develop through the months, Carlyle said.
They learn responsibility, self confidence and public speaking skills, too.
KIDSTAGE students participate in classes, workshops as well as full-scale KIDSTAGE productions like this one.
Seussical is based on the works of Dr. Seuss.
Music by Stephen Flaherty.
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.
Co-conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Eric Idle based on the book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
Directed and choreographed by Shanna Marie Palmer.
Musical direction by Dave Close.
At Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave. in Everett.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. ThursdaySaturday through Aug. 19 with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $9 – $11 at the EPAC Box Office 425-257-8600 or www.villagetheatre.org.
Seussical cast list:
Baby Kangaroo Nicole Erickson , 10
Bird Girl Aliya Kunz, 12
Bird Girl Lexie Clarke, 17
Bird Girl Sabrina Otness,14
Cat in the Hat Joe Royal, 17
Emily Swanby, 16
Grinch Dylan Pickus, 15
Dan Skubi, 15
JoJo Autumn Lambright, 10
Caitlin Kinnunen, 15
Mr. General Taylor Swanby, 14
Mr. Mayor Sam Capeloto, 15
Mrs. General Shannon Flynn, 13
Mrs. Mayor Brianna Stiegler, 15
Sour Kangaroo Julia Kinnunen, 18
Wickersham Nick Dominski, 12
Wickersham Tino Ardiente, 11
Wickersham Toby Simcox, 13
Yertle Nate Pitocco, 11
Addison Howley (12), Amanda Hamill (13), Anika Tobiason (16), Carlie Watson (12), Danielle Bethel (12), Jesslyn Freeman (13), Kaela Strieck (16), Karina Keyser (10), Kayla Watson (15), Mary Anderson (16), Meagan Moffat (12), Michael Wanner (10), Olivia Hartshorn (14), Sarah Daniels (16), Sunita Chepuri (14) and True Lambright (11).
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