The John W. Engeman Theater’s ‘Seussical the Musical’ is all the thinks...

The John W. Engeman Theater’s ‘Seussical the Musical’ is all the thinks you can think…and more

By Julianne Mosher

The colorful pages of Dr. Seuss’ stories come to life on the John W. Engeman’s stage for their latest children’s theater production, and their rendition of Seussical the Musical is one for the books. 

Directed by Danny Meglio, the story follows the plot of “Horton Hears a Who,” with Horton (Patrick McCowen), the elephant, speaking to Jojo (Sophie Achee and Finn Brown) — the smallest Who in Whoville. Jojo and his community live on a speck of dust on a clover that Horton lovingly carries throughout the show.

The elephant’s big ears allow him to hear the chitter chatter of the people on the clover, while the rest of the jungle thinks poor Horton is crazy, constantly ridiculing him. On top of that, Horton gets tricked into egg-sitting for the sassy, popular Mayzie (Jillian Sharpe), who abandons her egg to go party in Florida. But luckily, he has the support of his friend Gertrude (Natalie Sues), especially when he gets bullied by the Wickersham Brothers (Daniel Bishop, Terrence Sheldon and Will Logan) and Sour Kangaroo (Christina Cotignola). The Bird Girls (Michelle Shapiro, Nicki Winzelberg and Ally Clancy) are a three-piece ensemble who help tell the story through song and great harmonies throughout each number.

Written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the show is narrated by the Cat in the Hat (the incredibly talented Jae Hughes) whose mischievous ways will make the entire audience laugh. 

Acting as Jojo’s guide, the Cat helps the young dreamer maneuver through all the different scenes he imagines with special mention to the big dance number, “It’s Possible (McElligot’s Pool).” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of a synopsis — you’ll have to see the rest for yourself.

Meant to appeal to young children, with many families in attendance, this musical is really made for all. Grandparents, parents and babysitters alike smiled along as each scene presented a new musical score sung by this professional cast. They effortlessly danced along with choreography by Jillian Sharpe in the most colorful costumes and wigs led by Laura McGauley. 

Anyone who has read Dr. Seuss’ other childhood tales (like “Green Eggs and Ham,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “There’s a Wocket in My Pocket”) knows that the famous author’s art is truly out of this world and the team at the Engeman Theater and scenic designer Orion Forte did a great job portraying that with funky Seuss-like trees in the jungle of Nool. 

Seussical the Musical is a fun play that explores themes of identity, individuality, creativity, loyalty and community. Kids will leave the energetic production knowing the importance of being unique, standing up for one’s beliefs and that “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” 

So, get your tickets now, fill up on some green eggs and ham and head over to the Engeman Theater for a fun trip into the creative mind of Dr. Seuss. Meet the cast after the show for photos and autographs.

The John W, Engeman Theater, 250 Main St. Northport presents Seussical the Musical on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. through June 30. All seats are $20. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit