SeussicalChildren across the nation recently celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss with Read Across America Day. The Roxy Regional Theatre continues the celebration in Historic Downtown Clarksville with the staging of SEUSSICAL: The Musical, opening this Friday, March 17, and continuing through April 8.

Kendall Adaire Payne stars as The Cat in the Hat in this musical extravaganza that is sure to entertain the entire family.

“The Cat in the Hat is the narrative host who guides the audience through the show,” Payne said. “He pops up here and there and pretty much everywhere, usually out of nowhere, with comedic blurbs.”

The Cat in the Hat guides the audience into The Jungle of Nool. Deep in the jungle, Horton (Oliver Pierce), a kind-hearted elephant, discovers a speck of dust that contains Whoville, where he meets Jojo (Kylan Elizabeth Ritchie).

“She is kind of the writer of the story in the sense that she thinks it all up,” Ritchie said.

Jojo has been sent off to military school because she was thinking too many “thinks.”

“She is one of the outcasts,” Ritchie said. “She is one of the only ones who actually thinks differently and that is not accepted because, of course, she is a Who.”

Upon discovering the Whoville speck of dust, Horton decides he must protect it, but he also is watching over an egg abandoned by Mayzie la Bird (Jessica Medoff).

“I’ve heard her referred to as Lazy Mayzie, because Mayzie is very self-centered,” Medoff said. “She has an egg that she needs to sit on for a long, long time. But she has better plans for herself, so she convinces Horton to sit on her egg.”

The other animals in the jungle do not believe that Whoville exists in a speck of dust and ridicule Horton. Because of his belief in Whoville, Horton faces danger, kidnapping and a trial, but his loyal neighbor the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz (Melissa Silengo) never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant. This charming musical by Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is a testament to individuality and the value of standing by your convictions.

“All of the characters that you find in this play and in Dr. Seuss’ books have characteristics of humans — good and bad. You see them redeem themselves. You see them struggle,” Medoff said. “You have outcasts, and you have people who are boastful like Mayzie, and you have people who are afraid and overcome these things. And, in the end, everybody learns something about themselves.”

In addition to the public showtimes — 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays through April 8, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, March 25 and April 1 — the production also will be staged during the day for students of the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System and surrounding counties.

“We are doing this for a lot of children, and I think that is wonderful,” Medoff said. “I am a huge advocate for people who don’t get to see the arts as often as others, so the fact that children are coming from all over the county is just fabulous.”

SEUSSICAL is directed by Ryan Bowie, Roxy executive director, with choreography by Emily Rourke. The show also features Shuga Henry as Sour Kangaroo, along with Bowie, Rourke, Grant Fitzgerald, Beth Kirby, Jackie Ostick and Scotty Phillips. Rounding out the cast as citizens of Whoville and the Jungle of Nool are seventeen local youth: Caibo Beaver, Jade Beaver, Marlon Cuevas, Lorraine Cutting, Melina Dorsey, Aramae DoVanne, Ava DoVanne, Hayden Gilbreath, Jasmine Holmes, Hailey Lehman, Carleah Ludiker, Sylvia Mendiola, Julia Owen, Emma Petrie, Lillie Rich, Mikquala Skelton and Rhianna Turville.

The production is made possible in part through the generous support of Altra Federal Credit Union and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Additional funding support has been provided by Hugh and Joy Hatcher.

Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 13 and younger. Due to the double casting of children, the traditional opening night pay-what-you-can preview will be spread over the first two performances. All tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price will go on sale at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18, for a $5 minimum donation.

Tickets may be reserved online via the below button, by phone at 931-645-7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours — 9 a.m-2 p.m. Monday through Friday — and one hour prior to curtain. Military, Austin Peay State University students and CitySaver coupon holders can receive two tickets for the price of one to Wednesday and Thursday performances during the run.

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I Am My Own WifeAs a companion piece to this month’s mainstage production of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, the Roxy Regional Theatre is offering a different sort of Holocaust survival story, though one no less poignant.

The fascinating true tale of Berlin’s most famous transvestite, who survived two of the most oppressive regimes of the 20th century, in a dress, comes to the Roxy Regional Theatre’s theotherspace in I AM MY OWN WIFE for four evenings only, February 20 – February 28.

Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright began a conversation with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric German transvestite who, against all odds, hid from the Nazis in plain sight as a woman. During her struggle to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime, Charlotte escaped reality by indulging her passion for antique furnishings, managing to collect countless artifacts to place in her private museum.

I AM MY OWN WIFE, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play inspired by these hours of interviews, is a profound story of survival, strikingly political and beautifully humane. Directed by Ryan Bowie, the Roxy Regional Theatre’s production of this remarkable one-man tour de force showcases the talents of Oliver Pierce. Following his spot-on performance as a young Elvis Presley in Million Dollar Quartet last fall, Pierce returns to portray Charlotte and more than thirty other characters who pass through her controversial life.

I AM MY OWN WIFE is presented in theotherspace, the 50-seat black-box theatre located upstairs at the Roxy, and plays at 7:00pm on February 20, 21, 27 and 28. Due to language and content, this production is recommended for mature audiences only.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online via the below button, by phone at (931) 645-7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to curtain).

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Virginia Richardson stars in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, February 17 – March 4

February 6, 2017

For over half a century, her memoir has captured the hearts of millions around the world. Now the Roxy Regional Theatre is bringing to life the inspirational true story of a young girl swept up in the turmoil of the Holocaust in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, opening Friday, February 17, at 8:00pm. During the […]

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Children’s Auditions for SEUSSICAL The Musical on Saturday, February 11

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Local youth will have the opportunity to work alongside professional actors when the Roxy Regional Theatre holds children’s auditions for The Whos in SEUSSICAL The Musical on Saturday, February 11, at 1:00pm. Children ages 10 and up should come prepared with “Oh, The Thinks You Can Think” and be dressed to move in comfortable clothing […]

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This holiday season, give the gift of a specialty license plate and support the cause you care about. Now you can buy those special someones on your list a GIFT-A-TAG voucher for the purchase of any of Tennessee’s Specialty License Plates. With over 100 to choose from, Tennessee Specialty Plates represent colleges and universities, sports, […]

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RED RIVER BREEZE Presents “A Celtic Christmas” on Sunday, December 11

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Clarksville’s own traditional acoustic Celtic band is bringing their unique brand of Christmas cheer to the corner of Franklin and First for the second year in a row. In a much-anticipated follow-up to last year’s “Celtic Christmas Concert,” Red River Breeze will perform classic holiday tunes and carols with a Celtic flair at the Roxy […]

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Harry Connick, Jr.’s THE HAPPY ELF Brings Christmas Cheer to the Roxy

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After the turkey is put away on Thanksgiving evening, bring your out-of-town guests downtown for family entertainment sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit. A new musical comedy by the Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist, Harry Connick, Jr.’s THE HAPPY ELF opens at the Roxy Regional Theatre on Thursday, November 24, […]

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