CALUMET - The world of Dr. Seuss is a wild and wacky one filled with crazy characters doing silly things, but it's usually all to drive home a message. In The Calumet Theatre's production of "Seussical the Musical," that message is to use your imagination.
For director Mike Aubin, this is not the first time he's directed the musical, having done it six years ago as part of an all-school musical sponsored by the Copper Country Intermediate School District. Aubin really enjoyed that experience and wanted to be able to do it with community members so he could get different ages involved.
"We have a lot of new people, which has been really fun," Aubin said. "I really like seeing new people come out. You have a variety of ages. We have one gal who is 10 and that goes to I don't know how old."
Scott Viau/Daily Mining Gazette
Cast members of “Seussical the Musical”?point their fingers at Horton, far right.
Scott Viau/Daily Mining Gazette
From left, Anessa Johnson, Maija Erickson, Jed Kauppila, Nancy Kauppila and Heidi Knuuttila pose for a photo from a scene featured in “Seussical the Musical.”
Another reason he wanted to direct the show again is because of how much he enjoyed it.
"It's such a colorful and fun show. The music is a lot of fun and the characters are right out of Dr. Seuss," Aubin said.
The show itself takes characters from many of Dr. Seuss's books and puts them in a story that centers around Horton, the titular character of the book, "Horton Hears a Who," who is trying to save the Whoville people who live on a dust speck on a clover, as well as taking care of an egg. But that's certainly not the entirety of the plot.
So far, the most difficult thing for Aubin has been purely the fact that rehearsals have been taking place over the summer months, which has lead to attendance problems.
"It's summer time," he said. "People are on vacation."
Otherwise, the production has been relatively smooth.
In addition to Horton, who is played by Jed Kauppila, the characters of the Cat in the Hat, played by Erin Goodman, and JoJo, played by Eva Nemiroff, also make an appearance.
Goodman said she came out to audition for the part because she loves theater and has been doing it almost her entire life. Kauppila shared her enthusiasm.
"I haven't been doing it as long as (Goodman) has, but since my sophomore year in high school," Kauppila said. "I've done a lot of shows since then."
But Kauppila said he's especially excited about this show because it's Dr. Seuss.
"Everybody loves Dr. Seuss," he said.
Goodman said that part of what makes the show so enjoyable to be in is simply because it's been a lot of fun, and having the characters of Dr. Seuss be a part of it hasn't hurt, either.
"No matter what age you are, you love Dr. Seuss," Goodman said.
Goodman said she's also been enjoying the free reign with the character because she gets to be so unpredictable.
"I get to conduct the orchestra for the intermission, so I get to just go crazy. It's nonsense," she said.
Kauppila has also been enjoying being able to let loose a little bit with his character, mentioning that at one point, he's given a scarf and instead of wrapping it around himself, he wraps it around an egg he's protecting.
Nemiroff, 12, has, much like Goodman and Kauppila, loved theater all of her life and when she saw she was eligible for a role, she decided to just go for it.
"I was so excited," she said. "The play itself made me want to (audition)."
Being in the play and doing rehearsals has been a lot of fun for Nemifroff.
"I love the community atmosphere and I really love acting. Acting is my passion. I want to do it my whole life."
"Seussical the Musical" opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday and continues playing the 14, 19, 20 and 21 of September. Tickets are $15.50 and can be purchased by calling the Calumet Theatre at 906-337-2610.