That Cat. That clever, creative, mischievous, magnificent Cat in the Hat is a big favorite in our household. My children's preschool celebrates Dr. Seuss' birthday every year by baking "The Hat" cake and speaking in rhyme, and I have lost count of how often I have read the book. So, naturally, as we are the target market, we jumped at the opportunity to see the Cat in action in Seattle Children's Theatre's production.
My 5-year-old spent 30 minutes of the 45-minute production literally on the edge of his seat and the other 15 minutes bent over with laughter. With a combination of sound effects, puppetry and miming, the entire play is a harmonious demonstration of imagination at work. The sets are minimal and the props are painted to appear two-dimensional, as if the furniture and accessories jumped off the pages of the actual book. The actors are expressive in both body movements and facial expressions and the audience howled with laughter at their antics. Crowd-pleaser scenes easily include the dream of the fish and the Cat falling in slow motion.
Reminiscent of old-time radio shows came sounds of tennis balls bouncing, motorcycles revving and instruments strumming. Characters rush on and off stage, creating a frenzy of motion and movement and mess until suddenly, it's over. And the stage is left just as it had begun. Except now the boy and the girl and the fish AND the audience have the memory of a marvelous adventure.
There is a lot of wonderful theater for kids out there, but sometimes cost can get in the way of experiencing the fun as a family. Seattle Children's Theatre has various programs that can ease the way, including rush tickets (discounts one hour before the show, based on availability), Teen Tix ($5 tickets for teens), lower-priced previews and Thursday night shows, Chinook Book coupons and AAA discounts.
Check out the SCT website for additional details on lots of good fun. And "That is that," said the Cat in the Hat.
IF YOU GO
Where: Seattle Children’s Theatre, 201 Thomas St., Seattle.
When: Now through Oct. 28.
Cost: Adults $20-36, children $20-29.
Contact: 206-441-3322 or www.sct.org.