Livent CEO Garth Drabinsky announced April 16 that Livent has acquired the rights to the works of children's author Dr. Seuss to develop into a Broadway musical called The Seussical.
"It is anticipated we will have a show in early 1999," said Drabinsky, producer of Toronto and Broadway hits Show Boat and Kiss of the Spider Woman. He continued, "As Terrence McNally did for Ragtime, Ken Ludwig will fashion the Seuss stories into a treatment that will be the blueprint for the show. Once we have that, we will seek out a composer and lyricist to collaborate with Ken."
Otherwise, the development process will be the same as Livent's latest production, Ragtime, (now in it's world premiere presentation at Toronto's Ford Centre for the Performing Arts), with readings and workshops.
"Ted Geisel wrote 39 books under the pen name of Dr. Seuss and the theme of imagination being our greatest ally in getting through the ups and downs of life is a strong theme for a musical," Drabinsky said. Drabinsky and Ludwig expect The Suessical to include some of Geisel's favourite characters, such as the Grinch, Horton the Elephant, The Sneetches and Sam I Am. The Cat in the Hat will be the show's guide into the world of Dr. Seuss.
Audrey Geisel, widow of the writer (real name Theodore Geisel), was actively involved in arranging the rights with Livent.