If you haven’t seen or purchased tickets for Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches: The Musical at Children’s Theatre Company, playing now through March 26th, we highly recommend doing so for your family!
Twin Cities Kids Club had the pleasure of going on a backstage tour of The Sneetches prior to opening week. We joined fellow bloggers to get some up close sneak peeks at the costumes, the sets and some of the performance itself…with some interviews with the crew who make it all happen. Then we saw the show with our kids during opening weekend, and it was so neat to see how everything came together!
You’ve probably read the story of The Sneetches to your kids, but if you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically about two groups of Sneetches – the Star Bellies and the Plain Bellies. The two groups are separated by a line drawn on Sneetch Beach, so that the Star Bellies (the haves) and the Plain Bellies (the have-nots) never interact. But a friendship develops (and chaos ensues when Sylvester Monkey McBean arrives) that brings the two groups together.
We first toured the costume shop where costumes and wigs were being made individually for all the Sneetches, of all sizes and ages. There was every color of yellow you can imagine – and the only costume that wasn’t yellow was the green suit for Mr. McBean.
In the prop shop we got to see the mechanical workings of the crabs that will be used in the show.
We even got to see most of the cast rehearsing the final song and performance from the show, choreographed by Michael Matthew Ferrell, who was re-working the entire scene. The actors had such fun as they danced, sang and tossed a beach ball around!
As the rest of the cast rehearsed in one room, the two lead actors, Natalie Tran (playing Standlee) and Reed Sigmund (Diggitch), rehearsed a scene in another room, with a team including Director Peter C. Brosius guiding them through it. Natalie’s character was a star bellied Sneetch and Reed’s was a plain bellied Sneetch. It was captivating to see the two talented, experienced actors rehearse together – both are such naturals on the stage and their synergy was a great fit.
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This is where we also met the lyricist and composer team, Philip Dawkins and David Mallamud. We heard about how they collaborated for this performance (their first collaboration together), what instrumentation they use, and other details about the process. You can see our whole interview with them at the blog of One Girl, Two Cities.
The show opened on February 7th and runs through March 26th. We saw it during opening weekend and enjoyed it all. The messages of tolerance and oppression was a bit over our 6-year-old’s head, but they were effective, especially during the second half when Mr. McBean’s character turned the Sneetches’ lives upside down.
The Sneetches moves along at a child-friendly pace, with fun, original music performed by a live orchestra, and likable characters we get to know including an eccentric grandma and a sweet little girl who doesn’t fit in. The talent of the cast is high as with all Children’s Theatre productions we’ve seen, and there are some great moments, especially when Mr. Bean’s Star-Making Machine is revealed. In the end, the Sneetches learn that change needs to come from them, not a machine, and ultimately they can choose a future of friendship and unity.
Go see it!
What: Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches at the Children’s Theatre Company
When: February 7 – March 26
How much: Tickets start at $15 and the best dates for seats and availability are listed on their website.