Seussical the Musical, Villanova Style


I guess there’s just something about someone with a beautiful voice sharing that talent with the world that brings me to tears.” from “I’m in Tears, Again“.

Well it happened again last night. My wife, son, aunt, and I went to see Seussical the Musical put on by the Villanova Student Musical Theater (VSMT) group.

According to its web site, VSMT is an entirely undergraduate run organization that produces at least two musicals per year. The goal of the organization is to provide students a means to unleash their theatrical abilities on the stage. Besides performing, there are also members in VSMT who simply enjoy set building, sound and lighting, or other aspects of theater. VSMT welcomes all students with the desire to express themselves creatively.

As it turned out, three of my current/former students had major parts in the play. I felt like a proud parent watching the Cat in the Hat, Horton, and the Mayor’s Wife sing their hearts out. It was also hard to reconcile what I was watching on stage with the way I usually see them, sitting in class taking notes.

In case you are not familiar with the play (I certainly wasn’t before last night), here is a blurb from Broadway Musical Home:

Horton hears a noise coming from a speck of dust on a clover and commits himself to protecting it and the Whos who live on it; Jojo, a misfit Who who “doesn’t Think normal Thinks,” struggles to find his place in the tiny Who society; Gertrude McFuzz tries to catch the attention of her love – the kind and compassionate Horton. Through mishaps and adventures, these unique characters finally find what they seek – their places in their world.

The play is an homage to Dr. Seuss’s books, cleverly weaving a variety of his books into one cohesive story. It’s a fun, upbeat play with an uplifting message.

I can’t remember which songs got to me, but I did notice a couple of times I had to wipe the tears that were sliding down my face. As noted above, there’s something about someone with a beautiful voice singing a song with a message that resonates with me.

It was made even more poignant by the fact that I knew several of the students up on the stage. Students who had put in long hours to get ready for the multiple shows they would be performing, while still balancing schoolwork, job interviews, and the myriad of other activities that make up the life of today’s college students.

It was clear from watching them perform that they absolutely loved what they were doing, While there is no external reward that any of the students receive for their performance, I am guessing the intrinsic rewards must be incredible.

I also saw a few of my students in the audience. In fact, there was one sitting right in front of us. While I was talking with him he asked me if I remembered that he had told me that I had actually taught his parents 20 plus years ago. When I said I did, he then proceeded to introduce me to them, since they were sitting right in front of us also. Talk about a small world … and clear confirmation that I am getting old. I’ll know it’s time to retire if I find out that I’ve taught the grandparents of a current student.

So thank you to the cast and crew of Seussical the Musical for sharing your time and talents with the Villanova community. It was obvious the show was well received by the audience, and I look forward to many more outstanding performances in the future.

If you want to get a little sense of the play, here is a clip of one of the more popular songs from the Broadway show. Enjoy!