Animated acting colors Gypsum’s Lundgren Theater on Friday |

Animated acting colors Gypsum’s Lundgren Theater on Friday

Derek Franz
VAIL CO, Colorado

Special to the DailyRyan Boeke pretends to jam on the piano as The Cat in the Hat while Haley Carpenter as Mayzie LaBird and Jack Helmering as Horton the Elephant look on.

It would be tough for adults to pull off a musical with only three weeks of practice but 33 kids ages 8 to 15 are going to do it.

At 6 p.m. Friday, the Porchlight Player’s Children’s Theater presents “Seussical Jr.” at Gypsum’s Lundgren Theater. The performance is free, the costumes are colorful and the youngsters are eager to entertain.

The musical kicks off Gypsum’s Celebrate America Night, which features free hot dogs and root beer floats, a 7:30 p.m. performance by the Kort McCumber Band and an 8:45 p.m. screening of the movie “Captain America.”

“Seussical Jr.” is a version of Broadway’s “Seussical the Musical.” The story braids several Dr. Seuss stories into one, centered around “Horton Hears a Who.”

“Horton the Elephant finds himself faced with a double challenge,” reads the synopsis on “Not only must he protect his tiny friend, Jojo, and all the invisible Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him, the only one who recognizes ‘his kind and his powerful heart.’ Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant in a story that makes you laugh and cry.”

The children have been practicing at least six hours a day five days a week for almost three weeks. They’ve been doing tongue-twisters to practice enunciation and projection. They’ve learned blocking, choreography and had moments of improvisation and now they’re ready to enchant an audience.

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At least 24 of the 33 kids are returnees from previous Porchlight Children’s productions. “Seussical Jr.” will be the sixth annual Porchlight Players Summer Children’s Theater production.

“They are amazing kids and I’ve seen them mature since I started as an assistant director last year,” said Jillian Kiss.

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