Producers announce Souza's "Seussical" cast

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:55

    CENTRAL VALLEY-The Czech playwright Milan Kundera noted that "there are no small parts, only small actors." To wit, Horton, The Eleplant might have replied: "A person is a person, no matter how small." In the case of the upcoming Seussical, The Musical, to be presented by the Souza Scholarship for the Performing Arts on Oct. 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30, both sentiments are wondrously accurate. The show's cast includes a number of very talented, experienced principal actors. But there are a goodly number of supporting "whos," the tiny, barely visible inhabitants of one of Dr. Seuss's mythical, marvelous worlds represented in this wide-ranging, mega-musical show. You might even say they are the "Who's who of whos." "Aside from their depth of talent, which I won't minimize in any way, they are the most cohesive group we have ever experienced." Seussical co-producer Donna Funaro said. "Their work ethic is simply so contagious, it turns each rehearsal into an enjoyable evening." Among the principal cast members are Joe Jervais as Horton the Elephant, T.J. Larke as JoJo, M-W music teacher Michele George as Amazing Maysie, local voice teacher and veteran performer Ann Shatto as the mysterious Cat, M-W graduate Aidalyn Walsh as the Sour Kangaroo, North Rockland music teacher Melanie Lattimer as Gertrude, Rudy Kellman as the General, Tim Mullally as the Grinch//Yertle the Turtle, and M-W teachers Laura Kling (also an M-W music person) and Al Snyder as "Mr. and Mrs. Mayor of Who." Plus, there are various Bird Girls, Wickersham Brothers, Hunters, Hunches, and more! To play the many residents of "the smallest planet in sky," Funaro and her husband Tony, the show's director, assisted by a dedicated musical support staff, auditioned literally hundreds of young people. Of those, about 40 were cast as the Whos, who while diminutive in size, have proven to be performers of great stature indeed. "The younger children are not only talented, but are also very well-behaved, soaking up the production process and loving every minute of this performance opportunity," said Funaro. "And the high school students are very skilled and quite energetic, producing the creative frenzy that only teens can accomplish." These young ensemble players include various Bird Girls, Wickersham Brothers, Hunters, Hunches and more. But since space here does not allow listing of all cast members' names, you'll just have to read about them in the program at the show. Among the guiding principles of the Souza Scholarship, aside from bestowing encouraging monetary awards each year on young performing-arts-committed students, is the precept of providing "performance opportunities" for both the community's young people and seasoned performers alike. "When former M-W middle school principal Dick Moomey established the Robert W. Souza Committee 25 years ago to memorialize his best friend, a large part of the founding idea was to honor Bob's memory by continuing one of the many selfless community-service contributions he enjoyed the most n putting on shows," said Souza chairman and Seussical co-producer Bob Curtis. Souza's 25th anniversary production of Seussical, the Musical will be presented on Oct. 22, 28, and 29 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 23 and 30 at 2:30 p.m. All performances will take place at the Monroe-Woodbury High School on Dunderberg Road in Central Valley. Ticket prices are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Contact either Donna Funaro at 928-6737 or Bob Curtis at 928-2613 for further information or for ticket reservations. All proceeds will benefit the Robert W. Souza Scholarship for the Performing Arts.