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Omaha Magazine

Review: Seussical the Musical at the SumTur Amphitheater

Jul 19, 2023 10:01AM ● By Tamsen Butler
Seussical the Musical at the SumTur Amphitheater  Oh the Thinks you Can Think When You’re a Talented Cast!  Review by Tamsen Butler

Image courtesy of Papillion La Vista Community Theater.

If you’ve ever wanted to witness a Dr. Seuss book come to life, now’s your chance. Papillion La Vista Community Theater’s production of Seussical the Musical opened on Friday, July 14, at the SumTur Amphitheater with a dynamic, inclusive cast led by director Mary Dickson.

The stage, with its bright colors and Whoville set, immediately revealed it as Seuss-themed production. While this is a show based on children’s books, people of all ages will enjoy the nostalgia associated with seeing Cat in the Hat, Horton, Yertle the Turtle, the Grinch, and all the Whos on stage. Personally, I’d forgotten all about the story of Horton the Elephant sitting on Mayzie the Bird’s (played by the lovely Kaitlyn Severson) nest while she flew off to Florida, even though I must have read that story to my kids when they were younger at least a couple hundred times. It was a delight to revisit on stage. 

Speaking of Horton, Bronson Gierhan managed to offer up a heartfelt, vulnerable rendition of this beloved character. His duet “Alone in the Universe” with the talented Landon Backhaus as Jojo was a touching moment in the show.

Sour Kangaroo Kiley Melean’s powerful vocals filled the amphitheater–not an easy feat in an outdoor venue. Megan Smith offered up a master class in acting for a young audience in her emotive portrayal of Gertrude McFuzz. The Wikersham brothers, played by Papio South Drama alumni Henry Vote, Abram Butler, and Jude Glaser brought delightful mischief to the stage, and although generally seen as the “bad guys,” they proved to be a hot commodity after the show with young audience members who wanted photos. Drew Firkins proved an outstanding and versatile performer with his joy-filled Cat in the Hat.

The orchestra, led by conductor Dr. David Galant, braved scorching sun to deliver a musical score that helped the stories come to life. Galant and the musicians’ fun interaction with Ferkins after intermission helped make the orchestra shine even more as overall performers. 

Seussical the Musical is an excellent introduction to live theater for kids. It will keep their attention and prompt older audience members to revisit their days of reading Dr. Seuss books, either as a child or parent. Unlike many live shows intended for younger audiences, Seussical doesn’t slip adult themes into the show as a nod to parents. In fact, unless you’re offended by Mrs. Mayor (comically portrayed by Meredith McAdams) acting tipsy at the Who’s Christmas party,  you’ll find this a wholesome show indeed.

Seussical the Musical has three shows remaining: July 20-22 at 8:00 p.m. with a run time of around two hours with an intermission. Both $10 general admission (in the grass, so bring a blanket or chairs) and $15-$20 assigned seats are available at

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