ArtsView Children’s Theatre is going on a fantastical, magical journey through the world of Dr. Seuss with its performance of “Seussical.”

The musical, which opened Thursday and continues through the weekend, includes Dr. Seuss characters such as The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzzy, Mayzie la Bird, JoJo and, of course, The Whos.

“Seussical the musical is kind of a conglomeration of several different Dr. Seuss stories,” ArtsView Executive Director Nathaniel Olson said. “So, we have all of these typical Dr. Seuss creatures and characters that everyone kind of knows and loves.”

Olson said the show also includes phenomenal costumes, makeup, wigs and some amazing songs, including “Notice Me, Horton,” “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” and “Alone in the Universe.”

“The story follows Horton the Elephant as he’s trying to save all of the Whos on their tiny little dust speck and prevent all of the other animals in the jungle from destroying their tiny little planet,” Olson said.

Colton Dearborn, a 16-year-old student at Longview Christian School, is cast in the role of Horton and his brother Logan plays the The Cat in the Hat.

“Horton the Elephant is a gentle giant,” Dearborn said. “He’s very soft and willing to help his friends – sometimes too much. He’s very loyal.”

Dearborn said the musical involves a lot of creativity.

“The play is a very fantastical story,” he said. “It’s Dr. Seuss and there are a lot of very wild things happening.”

Dearborn’s mother, Bethani Deaborn, said according to her son’s friends, Colton is a gentle giant.

“He’s 6 foot 3 and he is the most loyal friend any of his friends could ever dream of. He kind of is Horton,” she said. “He’s a larger than life personality and he just has a lot of fun. But he loves his friends and he loves them deeply. And Horton, in the play, he really puts it on the line for all of his friends.”

“Seussical” is ArtsView’s fall family show and includes 41 cast members.

“This is the biggest cast we’ve had since 2019 when we did Disney’s “Newsies,” Olson said. “Because this is our … family show, it’s not just kids involved; it’s kids and adults. So we opened auditions to anyone 10 and older and through that we were able to bring in adults and kids.”

The goal, Olson said, is to create opportunities for families to come together for a family activity.

“So, as opposed to just a parent dropping their kid off at rehearsal and saying ‘OK, I’ll pick you up in a couple of hours,’ we want to give opportunities where families can come and they can be involved in the show together,” he said. “For this show specifically, out of all 41 cast members, we have 11 different family groups represented. So that could be a parent and a child, siblings, aunts and nieces, grandparents. They’re creating these lasting memories.”

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Features Editor

I began my role as features editor in March 2020, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is my second stint at the News-Journal. A Louisiana native, I also was in the Leadership Longview class of 2000.