“There are secrets on a leaf, in the water, in the air, hidden planets, tiny worlds all invisible. Not a person seems to know, not a person seems to care. There is no one who believes a word I say.

"Well I’m fairly certain at one time or other great thinkers all feel this way; I’m alone in the universe…I’ve found magic but they won’t see it…

"If I stand on my own so be it; ‘Cause I have wings, yes I can fly, around the moon and far beyond the sky,

"And one day soon, I know there you’ll be, one small voice in the universe, One true friend in the universe who believes in me.”

— Excerpt from “Alone in the Universe,” a duet by Horton the Elephant and JoJo the Who in Seussical Jr.

• • •

How many of us grew up reading the delightful stories of Dr. Seuss? How many of us learned to read with the engaging rhymes in books like “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham”? Do you remember story times that included “McElliogot’s Pool” or “Horton Hears a Who”? Chances are, you’ve read “Yertle the Turtle”, “Horton Hatches an Egg” or any number of other Seuss favorites.

As the music director for the DeSales Catholic School production of "Seussical Jr.", I am happy to share that this musical, a wonderful production based on these classic stories by Dr. Seuss, opened Thursday night at Lockport’s beautiful Historic Palace Theatre, and will be presented again at 7 tonight and noon Saturday.

This year, DeSales welcomed graduate Maddy Long as the director of the annual school musical. Maddy is an experienced dance instructor and choreographer, and I think it's wonderful that she's making her directing debut at her first alma mater. We are truly blessed to have her.

Maddy told me that she is “grateful for this opportunity to return to the DeSales Catholic School in this new light. Over the past few months, it has been incredible to watch the kids blossom from their gym at school to the beautiful stage at the Historic Palace Theatre. There is a great message throughout this show that 'anything’s possible' and that was evident from the start of this process. I am so excited for everyone to see the kids shine in this fun production!”

Seussical Jr. cast members are DeSales students in fourth- through eighth grade. From the very beginning of rehearsals the cast prayed together, worked hard at rehearsals, and claimed the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

As we worked on learning the beautiful songs of this production, director Maddy’s many skills made the songs come alive with wonderful staging and choreography. The costumes have been beautifully designed and created by Kerri Zimmerman, whose talented daughter Molly plays Gerturde McFuzz, a bird with kindness and character who discovers that true beauty comes from a heart of goodness and love. Add to that incredible sets created by the skilled artisans of the Palace, and we are grateful that things have come together beautifully, in answer to prayer.

Remarkable life lessons spring from the simplicity of these Dr. Seuss stories, including the recurring themes of faithfulness, optimism and friendship. Tickets are still available, and we hope that you can come to the show!

Jackie Davis of Lockport is an experienced inspirational vocalist, musician and music teacher. Her column is published every other Friday in the Union-Sun & Journal.

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