As much as I love Dr. Seuss, I’m not a huge fan of The Cat in The Hat book. As a kid, it made me a little uncomfortable that this seemingly-adult cat walked into the home of unsupervised children and started doing naughty things. As an adult, I think I just find it boring. That’s why I was relieved and excited when Dean Holt walked out onto stage as The Cat.
Mr. Holt doesn’t do boring and the child-like humor he brought to the character of the cat eliminated that inappropriate impression from my childhood. I’ve included a video of his entrance here, but I don’t think it does the live performance justice.
My kids fight over being my date to theater reviews and this time it was my 4-year-old’s turn. Despite CTC’s all-ages endorsement, I was unsure if he was really going to sit through this 50-minute play. He barely made it through the Very Hungry Caterpillar and was lying on the aisle floor midway through The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. I worried needlessly. The slapstick humor in this production kept him captivated and laughing. Before we knew it, it was time to go home.
This play has a very small cast, besides The Cat, there was Sally (Elise Langer), the narrator boy (Douglas Niethercott), the Fish (Gerald Drake) and Thing 1 and Thing 2 (Ana Christine Evans and Diogo Lopes). With a cast of only six people, each actor was vital and they each brought a huge amount of exuberance to the stage. I particularly loved Mr. Lopes as Thing 2. Apparently he has some clown training and, since the Things don’t speak, this was really appropriate. He said a great deal with his eyes.
If you have the option, I would recommend getting seats toward the front. There are bubbles piped in at the end and my son was really disappointed that he didn’t get to catch any. We were sitting a few rows too far back to have any come near us. Also, if you can get aisle seats, you’ll get to greet the actors at the end. That’s always fun. If you would like to do more to prepare, CTC has a print out of Cat In The Hat Activities. (No longer available).
The Cat in the Hat Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404 May 22, 2014 through July 27, 2014
Tickets to The Cat in the Hat were provided by the Children’s Theatre Company. As always, my opinions are my own.