Performances of the musical — which was co-conceived by Ahrens, Flaherty and Eric Idle — will begin July 16 at Off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre with an official opening July 19. Performances will continue through Aug. 17.
Directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, this new production of the young-audience version of Seussical will feature Ebony Marshall as Sour Kangaroo, Shorey Walker as The Cat in the Hat, Michael Wartella as JoJo, Karen Weinberg as Gertrude McFuzz and Leigh Ann Larkin as Mayzie La Bird. Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Amelia Morgan-Rothschild and Ellen Zolezzi are the Bird Girls; Willie Lee-Williams, Ben Tostado and Josh Walden are the Wickersham Brothers. Casting for Horton the Elephant will be announced at a later date.
The design team for Seussical comprises Narelle Sissons (scenic design), Tracy Christensen (costume design), Matthew Richards (lighting design), Eric Shim (sound design) and Eric Wright (puppet design).
Tony Award winner Cynthia Nixon — of "Sex and the City" fame — will serve as the Honorary Chair for TheatreworksUSA's 19th Annual Free Summer Theatre Program. In a statement Nixon said, "For the past 19 years, TheatreworksUSA has made the experience of enjoying live theatre possible for hundreds of thousands of young people. And it's because of the Free Summer Theatre Program that many of them are seeing live, professional theatre for the very first time. For a number of kids, this is something that they might never be able to experience otherwise. But thanks to the generosity of TheatreworksUSA and its sponsors, young people all over New York City will have the opportunity to enjoy top-notch stage productions, like Seussical, for years to come. And as a parent, I think that's a pretty amazing thing."
Seussical co-creator Ahrens added, "Seussical has had almost as many lives as The Cat in the Hat. From its original reading in New York to its Toronto workshop to its Boston premiere through its Broadway run and onto two national tours! Now, we're delighted that Seussical is being performed all across North America, and we've prepared this special one act version to accommodate its youngest audiences." This production will run 90 minutes. Seussical, with music by Flaherty, lyrics by Ahrens and a book by both Flaherty and Ahrens, opened at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre in November 2000, playing 34 previews and 198 regular performances before closing May 20, 2001. The opening-night cast included Kevin Chamberlin, Janine LaManna, Michele Pawk and David Shiner.
Seussical will play Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 AM and 1 PM, Thursday at 1 and 6:30 PM and Sunday at 1 and 4 PM.
Each day, a limited number of free tickets will be available to individuals at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on a first-come, first served basis. Distribution will begin one hour prior to show time with a four-ticket limit per person. Summer camps, youth programs and other social service organizations can make reservations for groups of ten or more by calling (212) 627-7373.
The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located in Manhattan at 121 Christopher Street.
Theatreworks/USA is America's foremost not-for-profit professional theatre for family audiences. Visit www.TheatreworksUSA.org for more information.