It may not be a “proper” word, but when someone describes something as Seussian, you basically know what it means. Dr. Seuss is famous the world over for the fantastical and surreal worlds he created and populated with characters like The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant and The Lorax.
And now that world and many of its most beloved inhabitants are coming to the Lakewood Cultural Center, courtesy of Performance Now Theatre Company.
“This is a show that anyone can enjoy,” said co-director and choreographer Kelly Van Oosbree, who is leading the production with Victoria Holloway. “It’s not only a children’s show — it’s smart enough that the adults in the room will also get a lot out of it.”
Performance Now’s production of “Seussical”™ runs at the cultural center, 470 S. Allison Parkway in Lakewood, from Sept. 8 through 24. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The musical is an amalgamation of several Seuss stories and follows JoJo (Sarah Atkinson), whose propensity for storytelling and a big imagination get the action going. The cast includes Christopher Boeckx as Cat in the Hat, Josh Harris as Horton, Nancy Evans Begley as Kangaroo and many more.
“I’m delighted by this show, which is so funny and very sweet,” said Van Oosbree. “It’s been so much fun working on the choreographer for the production’s music as well.”
The production doesn’t try to bring Seuss’ characters to live via recreation (to see how wrong that can go, look no further than the 2003 “Cat in the Hat” film), but instead uses animal-like elements, so the characters are recognizable, but with their own bent. And while the music may not have yielded any new standards, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its charms. Van Oosbree described it as a fun blending of blues, gospel and some jazz, resulting in tunes that are very “hummable and hooky.”
“This show is a great one to bring a child to, but as an adult you’ll enjoy and appreciate the very theatrical world,” she added. “It’s a very universal show about believing in the power of imagination and our ability to go forward with our own storytelling. It’s a big, Broadway musical in the best sense.”
Tickets are available at www.performancenow.org.
Honor Vietnam veterans with Wings Over the Rockies
Wings Over the Rockies will work in partnership with the United States Air Force Historical Foundation to celebrate Vietnam veterans at the Wings of Valor: Honoring Vietnam Air War Veterans event, held from 6 to 9:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18 at Wings Exploration of Flight, 13005 Wings Way in Englewood.
According to provided information, the event serves as a tribute to the aviators who flew during the conflict. Visitors will get to see an aerial demonstration, hear live music and sample cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Special guests include the Vietnam Veterans, National Air Museums’ Airpower and Space History scholars and Gen. Ron R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret).
Details can be found at https://wingsmuseum.org/events/wings-of-valor/.
Denver Jazz Festival celebrates music’s early years
Jazz in it’s earliest forms are the reason many fell in love with the music. That’s what makes the CMDance 2023 Denver Jazz Festival more than just a fun event. It focuses on vintage jazz and blues from the 1920s through 40s, when the world was first getting exposed to the genre.
The festival runs from Friday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 17 at The Studio Loft at Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 980 14th St. in Denver. The festival features NeoDance Stories Immersive Show.
According to provided information, attendees will be able to learn more about the music through “workshops, classes and lectures available from internationally renowned instructors during the daytime hours through the sister events Lindy on the Rocks and Hot Night Fusion Weekend.”
Find all the information at www.cmdance.org.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Drake at Ball Arena
Emotional boys of the world unite! Drake, our lord and savior from the Canadian north, is deigning to stop by our humble city and perform his record-breaking odes to loves won and lost, the challenges of the humble and the humbling of the challengers. Ever since Drake released “Take Care,” his momentous second album, back in 2011 he’s become a titanic figure in the music and pop culture world, and released two excellent albums back in 2022. Word is he has another lined up — he truly never stops.
It’s been a minute since the heartbreak king himself performed in Denver, so his concert at Ball Arena, 1000 Chopper Circle in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, is a really big deal. Drake will be joined by frequent collaborator 21 Savage, making the night extra special.
Get tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.