VVMS Spring Musical Success

Jenna Simon, staff writer

Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Valley View Middle School thespians performed their spring musical, Seussical the Musical. It featured a cast of lively, colorful, and energetic characters, all of whom suited the quirky stories of the show’s namesake, Dr. Seuss, quite well. The upbeat music kept the audience tapping their toes, while the bright and creative costumes and set left them reminiscing about the cleverly rhymed stories they read as children.

The musical follows the story of Horton the Elephant, who lives in the Jungle of Nool. When one day Horton discovers a group of people called Whos floating through the air on a town no larger than a dust speck, he dedicates himself to protecting this microscopic town from any potential harm. Despite the ridicule and mocking of his fellow animals in the Jungle of Nool, Horton remains determined because, as he says, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”

The show featured a host of fast paced songs, which created a style of show which was new to many of the cast members. “[Seussical] was different because almost the entire show was singing,” said VVMS freshman Matt Johnson, who played Horton. The show’s limited dialogue challenged the cast to tell their story almost entirely through the music they sang, which they did with fantastic energy, often while simultaneously performing engaging dance productions.

An aspect of the performance which truly made the show stand out as especially creative was the cast’s portrayals of the numerous quirky and outlandish classic Seuss characters. “Seussical is unique in its amount of abnormal characters,” said VVMS freshman Natalie Bartolomei, who played Horton’s neighbor and love interest, Gertrude McFuzz. “We spent a lot of time exploring the different movements associated with such characters, which was not easy.” To live up to the wacky personalities associated with Dr. Seuss characters, the cast captured the audience’s attention with their sudden, high energy movements, along with their fast-paced recitation of dialogue, written in the rhyming style of Dr. Seuss. In addition, the brightly colored set, along with similarly bold costumes and impressive hair and makeup gave the show an atmosphere that could only be described as utterly Seuss-esque.

The theater productions put on by the Edina middle schools offer students fantastic opportunities to experience the work that goes into putting on a show, while collaborating with peers with whom they share a passion. “[Theater taught me] that with a lot of practice, anything can happen,” said Johnson. “It helps you make awesome friends and learn about talents you never knew you had!” The middle school thespians are able to learn from each other and their directors during their several months of rehearsal, after which they can present a show which they are proud of. Being in shows at the middle school introduces several Edina students to what could become a passion of theirs in the future. “I plan to continue theater throughout high school,” said Bartolomei. “It’s something I love to do and I really enjoy it…[Theater] gave me the most meaningful moments in middle school I could ever ask for.”