Although the set seemed minimal on first look, simplicity is not a good predictor of the full of fun surprise we got when this play unfolded. Childsplay’s interpretation of The Cat in the Hat, geared toward the younger age range still had plenty to offer to the kids at heart that grew up with Dr. Seuss books. The actors and the sound team did an amazing job of helping the audience tap into that little spot reserved for imagination. The simple act of imagining an invisible bouncing ball had me not only buying into the make-believe but becoming so engrossed in it that I forgot that you couldn’t actually see it.
The costumes and set props in this play blew me away. They were so detailed that I felt like the characters and the set jumped right off of the pages of the book. From the inventive entrance of Thing One and Thing Two and their expanding bottom box, right down to the black squiggle lines on the costumes just like they were drawn by a pencil, and the grand finale of props as Dr. Seuss’s clean up machine rolled on in. It was jaw-dropping and awe-inspiringly cool. It was like seeing your favorite made up object come to life even though you knew it was impossible. Right up there with seeing a real live version of Willy Wonka‘s Wonka-mobile and Wanka-wash. This was by far my favorite part of the play but there were plenty of runner up quality moments like the inventive use of the kites on wires, stacking of Cat’s objects while showing top notch balancing skills, and the ever so animated fish in the fishbowl.
The actors were funny, witty and well studied. When it came to portraying their characters, Katie McFadzen staring as The Cat introduced a silly and worry-free attitude toward reeking havoc on the unsuspecting while Thing One and Thing Two’s crazy antics and laughter had us all chuckling as we watched the mess they made get bigger and bigger.
This creative and fun play is a must see for everyone. I was a little disappointed that my whole family couldn’t be there to experience fun but it was overshadowed quickly by the six year old giggles that I heard coming from the seats next to me. We were so lucky to have a friend along to help experience the excitement that we always seem to take away from Childsplay productions. I have spent the last week thinking of ways to incorporate a fun game of invisible hand ball and bringing back a little bit of crazy fun to our family. Seeing the Cat in the Hat come to life reminded me of how fun it is to be a kid, we had such a good time. I hope that my kids will remember this moment and bank it in their little vaults of happy times. Thank you again Childsplay for another great production.