It’s books. It’s books. Come take a look. They’ve taken Seuss’ pages and put them on the Athens’ stages. With whoo-sits, and what-nits, imagination galore, come take a look-zits, we promise not to bore.

That’s right! Seussical Jr.is pouncing and bouncing onto the Athens Theatre stage Friday, Jan. 17, bringing a visually stunning and musically cunning show that will have Central Florida absolutely buzzing.

Although Seussical Jr. focuses primarily on two favorites, Horton Hears a Who! and Horton Hatches the Egg, audiences will recognize characters and tidbits from more than 15 Dr. Seuss classics!

Everyone’s favorite cat in a striped hat is perfectly plucked from the cover of every book and acts as the show’s infamous and often vociferous narrator. He (played by Brendan Fogarty) leads the audience between the itty-bitty Who city and Horton’s wild and colorful jungle.

When Horton (Logan Freeman) discovers a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos — and a tiny soul called JoJo who sings quite the solo (Adalyn Goodwin) — he must protect the minuscule strangers from a world of ridicule and dangers, and from the Sour Kangaroo (Natalie Alonzo).

Along his journey, and after she begs, Horton is entrusted with lazy Mayzie La Bird’s (Skyla Sollowen) egg. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger and a trial, the fearless Gertrude McFuzz (Bethany Wolek) never loses faith, and the show ends with a smile. The powers of friendship, loyalty and community are challenged but emerge triumphant and, in the end, undamaged!

Before you leave, though, stop the caboose! There’s a real danger inside Horton’s jungle — and it is not a loose goose or an oversized moose.

It’s hot, and it’s scary. Small creatures are harried. As flames lick their noses, we thought, we’d supposes, that maybe for greenbacks we’d take some sweet poses — with you and your closests, and maybe your toeses.

Slick pics with your chicks and our Seussical schtick, we’ll gather your money — may it flow like honey.

So we’ll not be a failure, help us help our furry friends in Australiar.

The Athens Theatre invites you to join them Friday, Jan. 17, as they celebrate opening night of Seussical Jr. with a free champagne (or sparkling cider) toast.

Performances run through Sunday, Feb. 2, though, so if you can’t make it to opening night, come to any of the other performances, and treat your whole family to an outing you will not forget!

The historic Athens Theatre is at 124 N. Florida Ave. in Downtown DeLand.

 

Showtimes and ticket information

Seussical Jr. opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, and continues at that time Saturday, Jan. 18, Thursday, Jan. 23, Friday, Jan. 24, Saturday, Jan. 25, Thursday, Jan. 30, Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, Sunday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Feb. 2.

Tickets cost $29 for preferred reserved seating (rows A-E, center); $25 for adults; $23 for senior citizens; $11 students and children; and $21 per person for groups of eight or more. A $3-per-ticket processing charge will be added to each purchase.

To purchase your tickets in advance or find out more information, visit the Athens Theatre website at www.AthensDeLand.com or call the box office at 386-736-1500. Box-office hours: 1-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, and 1 1/2 hours before live performances.

After each performance, audiences will have the chance to be photographed with a character from Seussical Jr. for a $5 donation. All photo proceeds will be donated to Australia’s largest wildlife-rescue organization, WIRES. For more information about this organization, visit wires.org.au.

— Alexa A. Baldwin is director of marketing and operations for the Athens Theatre.