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C-N’s Lyric Theatre Presents “Seussical”

Horton the Elephant (Matt Mimbs) is pestered by Faith Rader (left) and Jessica Lakins. Carson-Newman’s Lyric Theatre will offer several performances in conjunction with the College’s Homecoming.

Carson-Newman’s Lyric Theatre is staging “Seussical” this week. Presented in conjunction with Home Sweet Homecoming, remaining evening performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 through Saturday, October 22 in Gentry Auditorium, part of Henderson Humanities Building. A 2 p.m. matinée will be offered on Sunday, October 23.

Filled with whimsy, the production says, Lyric Theatre Director Kyle Biery “is great, great fun and appropriate for all ages.”

Featuring a cast of 35 students and faculty members, the musical is a something of a smashup of Dr. Seuss stories. The impish Cat in the Hat (Thomas Waldrupe) narrates the story of Horton the Elephant (Matt Mimbs) and his friends as they journey from the Jungle of Nool to help Jojo (Laruen Kate Gonyea) restore harmony on the planet of Who. The adventure is packed with Seuss characters from Gertrude (Jessica Eckenrod) to tiny Whos and out-of-sorts kangaroos.

“It’s all of Dr. Seuss rolled into one grand tale,” said Biery. “It’s action-packed and most entertaining, but it also focuses on the power of creativity and imagination. On top of that, it examines relationships between parents and children.”

“Seussical” was cobbled together by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who were awarded a Tony for their musical “Ragtime.” Monty Python’s Eric Idle provided inspiration that began their retelling of the classic children’s tales.

Tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors) are available at C-N’s Gentry Auditorium box office (865-471-4163). Call 865-471-3293 for more information.

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