A show to ‘knock your multi-colored socks off'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

    CENTRAL VALLEY-The 25th anniversary of the Souza Scholarship production of Seussical, The Musical, takes place for two weekends at the end of October. "Director Tony Funaro and my co-producer Donna Funaro have assembled a very large, extremely talented cast of local performers for this production," said co-producer and Souza chairman Bob Curtis. "This show will absolutely knock your multi-colored socks off!" Seussical, the Musical is a contemporary re-imagining of Dr. Seuss, which weaves together many of his most famous stories and characters in unexpected ways. The Tony Award-winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime and Once on This Island) created a score that includes pop, gospel, blues and R&B. The show re-creates Seuss's witty, wild and whimsical world as it has never been seen before. When chaos erupts in the Jungle of Nool, it will take the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, and a gaggle of characters to bring harmony back to their world. It is a world where anything's possible n an elephant in a tree, a person too tiny to see, a heroic child and dreams running wild. It, too, is a magical, musical world where helping a friend, never giving up and keeping a promise come alive in this amazing past Broadway show that's for adults in their 90's down to kids in their twos. "This show is all the more special for those of us on the Souza Scholarship Committee," Curtis said. "You see, this past August was the 25th anniversary of Bob Souza's untimely death in 1980. Thus, Seussical will be the 25th anniversary Souza production." Robert W. Souza was a Monroe-Woodbury instrumental music teacher who, during his 14 years at M-W, served as high school and middle school stage band director, music team leader, and then district music coordinator. He also arranged and conducted music for the district's scholarship productions and student musicals. Colleagues have described Bob as a "teachers' teacher," and parents and students at the time noted especially his courage and humanity. And in addition to his teaching and community-theater service, he played trumpet and arranged music for the world-famous Jimmy Sturr Orchestra. The Souza Memorial Scholarships were instituted shortly after Bob Souza's death by the Monroe-Woodbury Teachers' and the Monroe-Woodbury Administrator's Associations. Later, to administer this scholarship program in perpetuity, the Souza Scholarship for the Performing Arts, Inc. was incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable organization. To date, nearly $150,000 in scholarships have been awarded to local students. The performance dates for Souza Scholarship's benefit production of Seussical are planned for two upcoming weekends: Oct. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30. For information about tickets, call 845-928-6737 or 845-928-2613.