The director, Portia Ezell, came out before the show began to thank the audience for coming to take part in the first “full-scale Broadway musical” in Cadiz.
“We hope this is a first in a long line of many,” she said.
Spectators were then treated to a huge cast, elaborate sets, bright costumes and songs inspired by such Dr. Seuss books as “Horton Hears a Who” and “Oh, The Thinks You Can Think.”
The audience, many of whom were related to cast members, seemed pleased by the performance.
“I think it’s just wonderful,” said Mamie Jones, whose granddaughter, F’ekissa Jones, played one of the citizens of the jungle where Horton the Elephant lives. “But then, I would be prejudiced.”
Jones said she thought Cadiz needed more productions like “Seussical” for young people and the rest of the community to take part in. She said that children who are good at sports have always had an outlet for their talents, but that, until now, kids interested in creative arts haven’t always had a good way of showing what they can do.
Jones also said that having more performing arts like “Suessical” could help keep kids away from drugs and sex.
Jason Sittig, whose 8-year-old son, River, played a Who Cadet, offered similar sentiments.
“It could keep kids out of trouble and show them there’s other routes to go,” he said.
After the show, Ezell watched one of her cast members go sprinting past her.
“They’re just energy with skin on them,” she said laughing.
Ezell said she was incredibly proud of what her cast had accomplished. She said she knew during the rehearsal process what they were capable of, and that they proved it on opening night.
Ezell also said that she wasn’t disappointed in the first night’s turnout, but that she hoped word-of-mouth would get around town and draw bigger crowds for later performances.
“People in Cadiz kind of like to wait and see,” she said.