There are endless possibilities to a child’s imagination. On a rainy day when they can’t play outside, a young boy or girl might make up crazy stories — stories that can involve a talking fish, a cat in a red and white hat and even two little rascals they call Thing One and Thing Two.
The popular children’s story by Dr. Seuss was brought to life with a whimsical showing of “The Cat in The Hat.” The story of Sally and her brother was played onstage, under the direction of David Barker by the cast and crew of the Childsplay, Inc. from Arizona.
The show opened with Sally and her brother sitting in front of their window on a rainy day. Kate Haas as Sally and Nathan DeLaTorre as Boy synchronize their movements as they talk about how little fun they are having as “all we do is sit, and sit, and sit and sit.”
They don’t stay seated for long as their imaginations take off and through the door walks a tall cat, standing on two legs, wearing a red-and-white-striped hat. The cat tells them, “There are plenty of ways to have fun, you just have to know how.” Elizabeth Polen as The Cat in the Hat is mischievous and energetic, playing tricks and getting into all sorts of trouble.
It isn’t long before Cat brings in his two friends named “Thing One” and “Thing Two.” Like children who have had way too much sugar before bed, the Flatz sisters, Joy and Claire, jump, run, spin and prance around stage as blue-haired and high-pitched Things. Leaving the house in disarray, they are quickly told to go home, back into the red crate Cat lugged into the house.
It’s after much pleading that Sally and her brother’s fish get their wish that the Cat leave. The realization that their mother is on her way home has the three in a panic as they see the disastrous ruins of their fun and games. Kaleena Newman as the Fish speaks as the voice of reason throughout their playtime, and in a world like the ones Seuss creates, reason often goes unheard.
Quickly comes in Cat, joined by two look-alike feline friends as they swiftly move the mess offstage. As quick as they help, they are gone, all in time for the kids’ mother to come home. When the mother asks about her children’s day, they turn and ask the audience, “Well what would you do, if you mother asked you?”
During the entirety of the show, the cast had an almost dance-like way of moving. Their movements often matched as they walked and ran across the stage. The classic images of the picture book were translated into the set and costumes designed by John Emery and D. Daniel Hollingshead respectively.
At the curtains close, Childsplay’s adaption of the beloved children’s book by Dr. Seuss proved to be a delightful glimpse into the possibilities of a child’s imagination.