Seussical the Musical: Q&A with Leads

The Riverside High School Theater will present the family musical, “Seussical” on March 3 through March 6 in the high school auditorium. A cast of over 100 students from the high school, middle school and elementary will participate in the production. This is the 53nd Anniversary of Theater at Riverside, so we hope you can join us for this landmark show.

“Oh, the things you can think” when Dr. Seuss’s best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper.

Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination–Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Seussical is a musical that you will never forget.

Performance dates are:

  • Thursday March 3rd 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday March 4th 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday March 5th 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday March 5th 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday March 6th 2:00 p.m. *Matinee

All tickets for these performances are $10.00 and can be reserved by calling the Musical Reservation Line at 724-758-7512 extension 2838. Riverside High School is located at 300 Country Club Drive in Ellwood City, PA 16117.


Interviews with the leads and senior director:

Isaiah LaDuke (Horton the Elephant)
Junior, has participated in musicals since 7th Grade

Q: What brought you to this role in particular?

  • I fell in love with the character. He’s a gentle giant.

Q: What is unique about the costume?

  • The costume, like all the costumes, is not directly an elephant. I wear a tie that looks like a trunk and baggy pants and a dress shirt, so the entire thing alludes to an elephant.

Q: What is your favorite number?

  • “Notice Me Horton” because it’s really fun to sing.

Q: Have you participated in musicals that you weren’t that fond of?

  • I wasn’t a fan of Annie.

Olivia Freed (Cat in the Hat)
Senior, has participated in musicals since 4th Grade

Q: What do you like about your character?

  • I get to be in most scenes. I’m a narrator in a sense so I have a lot of dialogue and introduce most of the scenes. I watch a lot of the musical alongside JoJo. Plus, I’m very mischievous like we all remember the Cat in the Hat.

Q: What are your future plans?

  • I’ll be attending Slippery Rock to major in music education.

Q: What will the audience like?

  • There is a lot audience interaction. I especially break the fourth wall a lot. In addition, the costumes allude to the characters. Nobody dresses exactly like what their character is, but I do wear the signature hat.  The songs are all very catchy as well.

Nathan Brown (Mayor of Hoo)

Q: What do you like about your character?

  • I’m very type cast in these musicals. I was the butler in Annie, then the ship captain in Anything Goes, and now I’m a mayor.

Q: What is unique about this musical?

  • It appeals to all ages because it’s Dr. Seuss. It’s also one of the more well-known, although newer, musicals. Last year, “Anything Goes” was a much more obscure selection. It’s also very fun for everyone involved, and it brings the characters close together on stage while in some musicals the characters don’t interact together as much.

Q: What sort of props are there in this musical?

  • Much of the sets and costumes are deliberately abstract and vague to leave it up to the audience’s imagination, like Dr. Seuss’s illustrations. There’s nothing big on stage like last year, when we made a full boat, just pieces for the audience to fill in. There’s a fog machine and strobe lights and interactive parts, such as the fish [the interviewer doesn’t remember what the fish entails].

Q: What other activities are you involved in?

  • I play soccer and run track and cross country. I’m also the stage crew president. My future plans are to pursue sound/light production.

Abbi Fec (Getrude McFuz)

Q: What is your character?

  • I’m basically a weird bird. I’m very sweet and lovable and I support Horton in the story. She’s a very similar character to myself.

Q: What do you like about the Seussical?

  • There are no slow parts, which I think the audience will like as well.

Q: What are the songs like?

  • They’re all very rhymey like Dr. Seuss, including the dialogue. One of my songs is word for word from the book.

Samantha Johnson, Student Director

Q: When do you take full charge of the production?

  • By the week before, Mr. [Andrew] Kovall will back off, and it’ll be fully handed off to the student directors.

Q: What advice would you give to the next directors?

  • Don’t be afraid to yell at your friends. There’s a difference between friends and work.

Q: What are your responsibilities?

  • I have to make sure people are on stage on time. I check the switches and microphones. I help the stage crew, so basically a lot of micromanaging. I also have to know everything that Mr. Kovall knows.

Q: What do you like about being the director?

  • I like being in charge, and I’m organized [this was the same answer given last year, as this is Johnson’s second year as a senior director].

Q: How many years have you been a director?

  • This is my fourth year. If Mr. Kovall hadn’t picked me in 8th grade, I’d be in the shows. He picked me because ‘I’m dry, sarcastic and mean.”

Shanna Ridgley (Maizey Labird)

Q: What is your character like?

  • I’m a sassy bird, so the opposite of Abbi’s character. I have a huge tail, so I’m one of the only characters wearing a direct costume part. In the story, I have an egg I don’t want, so I get Horton to sit on it.

Q: What other activities do you do?

  • I play soccer, am a cheerleader and am on the track team.

Q: What are your future plans?

  • I’ll be attending the University of Pittsburgh for dental medicine.

Ashely Boehm (JoJo)
Senior, participated in musicals since 6th grade

Q: What is unique about your character?

  • I’m technically the main character, since the entire musical is his imagination, so I’m in almost every scene with the Cat in the Hat. I’m also a boy.

Q: What other activities are you in?

  • I play basketball, softball and am a cheerleader.

Q: What are your future plans?

  • I’ll be attending Seyton Hill as an occupational therapist and will be playing softball.


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