By Christina McDonough Hunt
Gather the family and bring your own picnic to the Ironwoods Amphitheater for Leawood Stage Company’s free outdoor performance of Seussical, July 9-11 & 15-17. The show promises a colorful and comedic performance for the entire family, and features a complete cast of local performers, many of whom are relatives such as couples, siblings, and parents with children.
“Our phenomenal cast is populated with local performers of all ages from the Kansas City metropolitan area,” said April Bishop, Leawood Stage Company Artistic Director. “And many of our performers are family members, which is amazing. Seussical is a true community performance.”
One mother-son duo is Olathe Middle School teacher Taylar Rabel and her son Wilson. The two are excited for the opportunity to perform together in Seussical. Rabel has directed multiple theatre productions and has included Wilson in a few including Oklahoma!, Dr. Dolittle, and Flowers for Algernon. Rabel is grateful for the time she is able to spend with her son and the bonding they have through acting. She notes that “as Wilson gets into his teens, he may not want to spend as much time with me, so I cherish these opportunities we have now.”
Husband and wife duo Matt Henrickson and Laura Irwin are looking forward to performing for the first time together at LSC in Seussical. The pair both work at The American Theatre Guild and have performed individually in other LSC shows, including Once Upon a Mattress [Irwin] and Bonnie & Clyde [Henrickson]. The couple spends much of their time together, but also enjoy the opportunity to perform together. They are especially excited to perform in Seussical.
“We love the show Seussical, it’s a great show to get back into theatre after the pandemic because it’s light and fun. We’re together all the time since we also work together, but we still enjoy performing together, so it’s been great to do this show,” Irwin said.
The cast also features members who have performed on Broadway including Lee’s Summit resident, Delilah Pellow, who played as Little Anastasia in Anastasia on Broadway for a year and then toured America for eight months with the show. Delilah and her sister, Josephine, will both perform in Seussical, and last appeared together on stage in LSC’s Annie. The sisters are very close, and “love to be on stage together”.
Seussical is a family musical comedy by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty that is based on the works of Dr. Seuss. The show brings to life characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, and Mayzie La Bird, and highlights “the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community”.
The Leawood Stage Company is a non-profit community theatre whose mission is to bring performing arts to Leawood and the Kansas City area.
“We want to introduce new audiences and families to theatre, especially young families,” Bishop said.
This year marks the company’s 23rd season and Seussical will be LSC’s first live performance since before the pandemic and Bishop says that everyone is ‘excited to get back to doing live theatre’.
The Seussical performances will be held at the Ironwood Amphitheater in Ironwood Park, 147th and Mission Rd in Leawood, on July 9-11 & 15-17 and will begin at 8pm. The event is free of charge thanks to The Leawood Parks and Recreation Department. Tickets are not required, but donations are appreciated. Some seating is available; however, it is recommended to bring your own chairs and blankets. Picnics are encouraged and light concessions will be available. Dogs are permitted and are required to be leashed at all times. LSC requests that they not disturb others during the performance.
Find more information at leawoodstageco.org. Rain cancellations will be posted on Facebook.