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Getting musical with Dr. Seuss in Charleswood

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Bretton Reimer (left) plays Mr Mayor in Charleswood United Church's production of Seussical the Musical, while Martina plays JoJo.

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Bretton Reimer (left) plays Mr Mayor in Charleswood United Church's production of Seussical the Musical, while Martina plays JoJo. Photo Store

Some of the most beloved and quirky characters from the books of Dr. Seuss are coming to Charleswood.

Between Sept. 11 and 14, youth and young adults from Charleswood United Church will put on Seussical the Musical.

It’s the 15th year the church has been putting on musicals, performing to near-consistent sold-out shows. Production manager Steph Halligan says she’s excited by the chemistry this year’s cast brings the works of Dr. Seuss to life.

"It gets a little crazy, and Dr. Seuss is always a good time," she says.

The main plot involves Horton the elephant, of Horton Hears a Who!, believing that he must protect the citizens of  Whoville, who live on a speck of dust in constant fear of death. The only problem is that Horton is the only one who can actually hear the little Whos pleas for help.

The story is narrated by The Cat in the Hat and features characters from across the Dr. Seuss canon. It’s a musical that works well for including cast members of all ages and experiences.

Martina Barclay is 10, and plays JoJo in the musical. She’s been performing in Charleswood United’s musicals for the past five years.

"My favourite part is the singing and dancing," she says. "Everyone is really nice, and I’ve made a lot of friends here — and it’s fun to see them every week."

The church considers its yearly musical as a form of outreach to the broader community, giving a youth cast of about 45 something to look forward to over the summer, a chance to hone their musical skills.

"It’s an amazing way to get youth who don’t all necessarily fit in anywhere else involved," Halligan says. "Everyone comes from very different backgrounds, and it’s a very accepting place."

Bretton Reimer is 16 and back for his third year with CUC musicals. "It’s always fun, and like a family," he says. He’s excited for this year’s show because "it’s not your average musical. It’s quirky and it’s ‘out there’."

Tickets for Seussical the Musical are available from the office of Charleswood United Church, 4820 Roblin Blvd.

Tickets are $10, $6 for children under the age of 12.

Amanda Thorsteinsson is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

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