The City of Gilroy Recreation Department’s production of “Seussical, Jr.” was outstanding. Under the direction of Michelle Serrano, 50 actors brightened the Gilroy High School stage, bringing to life the prose of the beloved Dr. Seuss.
Often, a problem with young actors is hearing and understanding the dialogue and lyrics. Not so in this production. Every word was clearly executed, and with the energy needed to make the characters believable. Each scene was sharp and well defined as the set changed without a hitch and actors in colorful costumes entered with near perfect timing.
Kirsten Jackson portrayed The Cat in the Hat keeping the pace of the show moving with her narration and clever asides. I especially enjoyed her piano bar mime in “How Lucky You Are,” performed with her sister Kimberly Jackson, who was perfectly cast as Mazie La Bird. Zach Dahm as Horton the Elephant was wistful, gentle, gullible and lovable, never giving up his search for the Who and agreeing to sit on Mazie’s egg.
JoJo, played by Jacob Yoder-Schrock, has got to be one of the cutest kids on the block. He is all-boy, full of confidence, with the voice of an angel. The beautiful “Alone in the Universe” sung by Yoder-Schrock and Dahm was a delightful treat for our ears. I loved the costume and attitude of Sienna Jessel, The Sour Kangaroo, but when this tiny girl with the sophisticated up-do started to sing I couldn’t believe my ears.
Danielle Moore as Gertrude McFuzz also knocked my socks off. She played the shy but loyal neighbor of Horton with sensitivity and an understated comedic style. Commanding the stage with “Notice Me Horton” and “All for You”, Moore’s vocals were beautifully executed and took the entire production up a notch. The entire cast deserves another round of applause.
GHS Choral Director Phil Robb put together another fabulous Spring Concert last month. Audiences enjoyed a variety of music, including “Jabberwocky” by the 247 voice Concert Choir and “Manly Men” by the Men’s Chorus. The Chamber Choirs from both schools exemplified the standard for excellence.
During his banter between groups, Robb announced at the Heritage Festival in Anaheim the Christopher Chamber Choir received a gold third-place rating, a huge accomplishment for a group that has been together only two years, and the Gilroy High School Chamber Choir received a gold first-place rating. These awards are quite a feather in the cap of not only Robb, but also the Gilroy Unified School District for providing opportunities for aspiring musicians.
As the combined choirs of both high schools lined the aisles and filled the room with the powerful “Anthem of Peace,” an appreciative audience rose to their feet with extended applause. Robb, who is winding down his tenure with one more year to go, has found a new venue for the popular Pop’s Concert. To accommodate the huge audience that turns out for this favorite, this year’s Pop’s Concert will be held at Gilroy Gardens. I’ll be at the keyboard. I hope to see you there!
The Cinelux Theater in Morgan Hill recently held the Premiere of “Gleeful” presented by the City of Gilroy Recreation Department and Gilroy Children’s Musical Theater. The movie, created by John Bisceglie and filmed by Mattie Scariot and Nils Meyers of 152 West Productions, features 170 Bay Area youth. With themes of budget cuts and lessons of tolerance, the film is an inspiration for every community. Congratulations to Alan Hoshida, Melissa Davis and Stefan Mercer for performances worthy of an Oscar nomination.
* “Weekend Comedy”: Through May 19; Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m. (bring your own dinner – doors open at 6:30 p.m.); Matinee May 6 at 2 p.m. (bring your own brunch – doors open at 12:30 p.m.) at Gilroy Center for the Arts, Gilroy. Reservations: (408) 472 3292
* Annual Pop’s Concert: Wednesday, May 23, 7:30 p.m. at Gilroy Gardens Amphitheater, Hecker Pass, Gilroy. $5
* “Young artists Poster Contest” Display at Gilroy City Hall gallery, Rosanna Street, through May 11
*The Gilroy Foundation & Habitat for Humanity Raffle to benefit the City of Gilroy Public Art Committee’s Children’s Public Art project to be located in the exterior landscaping of the library. Prize: a children’s playhouse, 4’W x 5’ H, Tickets: 1 for $5, 3 for $10, 5 for $20. Drawing: July 6. Need not be present to win. Purchase tickets at City of Gilroy Recreation Dept., Allstate Insurance, Collective Past, Dragonfly Cafe, Garlic City Cafe, Gilroy Vet Hospital, Looking Good Salon, Mango Street Kids, Robert Raymond Salon, Wes’ Shoe repair
* Fifth Street Live Summer Concert Series Friday evenings at Fifth Street, Gilroy between Eigleberry and Monterey streets. July 6 – Aug. 31. Free. Bring chair.