MATTHEWS, NC – Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts is proud to present Suessical from February 24 – March 5.
Narrated by the Cat in the Hat, Suessical is a musical comedy by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty that combines elements of many of Dr. Suess’ popular children’s books. It tells the story of Horton the elephant who, aided by Gertrude McFuzz, must protect the Whos he discovers on as speck of dust while also guarding an abandoned egg left in his care by Mayzie La Bird.
To meet the demand for the number of performances scheduled (as well as to ensure there are healthy performers ready to jump in if a cast member falls ill), Suessical will be performed by two distinct casts. The “Green Eggs and Ham” cast will perform Friday, February 24, at 7:30 pm; Saturday, February 25, at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm; and Sunday, March 5, at 2:00 pm. The “Star Bellied Sneetches” cast will perform Sunday, February 26, at 2:00 pm; Friday, March 3, at 7:30 pm; and Saturday, March 4, at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. “We had nearly 100 exceptional people audition for this show,” adds Marketing Director Amy Dunn, “so the two casts have allowed us to give more actors an opportunity to perform.”
Matthews Playhouse prides itself on making theater accessible to everyone and offers many accommodations upon request such as large print programs, assisted listening devices, and wheelchair accessible seating. The 11:00 am performance on March 4 will also be a “Sensory Friendly Performance,” which will be modified to have lower sound and light levels and eliminate startling or loud sounds.
“The theater will remain dimly lit during the performance, and audience members will be allowed to stand, roam around, and come and go as needed,” explains Dunn. “Parents are also welcome to bring certain items that provide their children comfort: cushions, headphones, electronics, snacks, and other support items. Designated quiet and calm spaces will be available to children as needed. This show is recommended for children and individuals with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other social, learning or cognitive disabilities.”
Moreover, in the spirit of making theater accessible to all, the 6:00 pm performance on February 25 is designated as “Pay What You Can.” Offered in past seasons to allow the actors and production crew a chance to rehearse one last time in front of a live audience before the show opens, “Pay What You Can” performances help make the performing arts more inclusive and accessible to members of the community regardless of economic circumstances.
“We eventually decided to request donations from audience members to benefit a local charity that has been chosen by members of our board,” adds Dunn. “For Seussical, our Pay-What-You-Can performance will not be a preview, but rather part of our regular run. Our non-profit partner for Seussical is Freedom School Partners, an organization that we’ve had a relationship with for several years. We felt like their commitment to children’s literacy and summer learning dovetails nicely with Seussical. The suggested donation is $10 per person, but we will accept any amount (large or small).” Pay What You Can tickets are available at the door on a first-come first-serve basis.
Suessical promises to be a colorful, delightful, entertaining musical for the whole family featuring some of Charlotte’s favorite actors! The show is recommended for ages 4 and up, and tickets ranging in price from $10 – $19 can be purchased online at https://www.matthewsplayhouse.com/seussical.
While you’re purchasing tickets, make sure to check out Matthews Playhouse’s “Special Events” page, where you’ll find a number of Dr. Suess themed activities happening in the month of March to celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday, including a day camp for special needs children to complement the Sensory Friendly performance of Suessical and a special Dr. Suess birthday celebration in conjunction with the Town of Matthews.