The Cat in the Hat (directed by Adam Immerwahr) at Adventure Theatre MTC has transformed the text of one of the most popular kids books into a wildly silly and hilarious adventure. I have never loved The Cat in the Hat, until now! In the book, the Cat always annoyed me, but Louis E. Davis showed me the silly playful side to the character that I fell in love with. The classic tale of the mischievous cat with his red and white hat who transforms a boring rainy day into a day of eccentric play for a pair of siblings will never be the same. Without adding hardly any words to the original text, the story of the Cat in the Hat is brought to life in a whole new way at Adventure Theatre through August 21.
The Adventure Theatre production uses puppets, music and theatrics to transport you into the absurd and enchanting world of Dr. Seuss. The use of puppets exaggerates the larger than life personality of the Cat. The Cat sets the tempo at a staggeringly quick pace without overdoing it. The puppeteers are funny and expressive as they supplement the expressions and reactions by the puppets. We were all laughing out loud with the antics of the Cat and his companions. The interactive features of the performance were our kids’ favorites! They loved shaking hands with Thing 1 & Thing 2 and even gave them a hi-five as they soared above our heads on kites.
The set was another masterpiece by Adventure Theatre! The thick black lines and limited color selection added dimension to the illustrations. The lights and graphics were very well integrated, aside from the one use of strobes that seemed to irritate most of the audience. Sound Designer, Evan Cook, created a soundtrack that is powerfully emotive by weaving together the iconic sounds of Henry Mancini.
The Adventure Theatre doesn’t just breathe life into this old tale, but it addresses the racist history as well. In addition to hiring a production team and cast comprised of over 50% artists of color, the playbill includes an essay by Philip Nel, The Cat, Seuss, and Race. Philip Nel, the author of Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books offers insight into the complicated relationship between Dr. Seuss and racism. Nel reminds us that we can perpetuate racism regardless of our intentions and asks tough questions about how to respond to racism in our culture. We appreciated the openness in addressing the racism that is often over looked in literature. We cannot ignore or excuse the racist inspirations for the characters in these literary classics. Thank you Adventure Theatre for creating such thoughtful and meaningful entertainment for our families!
We are running a Giveaway here for 4 tickets to The Cat in the Hat on Friday, July 26, 2019 at 7:00PM.
The Cat in the Hat Based on the book by Dr. Seuss. Play Originally Produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain. Adapted and Originally Directed by Katie Mitchell. Directed by Adam Immerwhar. Cast includes Debora Crabbe, Louis E. Davis, Jonathan Miot, Ari Shapiro, Maria Simpkins, John Sygar, Caroline Wolfson, Julie Gozalo and Tendo Nsubuga. The production team includes Assistant Director Cara Hinh, Scenic Designer Matthew Buttrey, Lighting Designer Alberto Segarra, Costume Designer Danielle Preston, Sound Designer Evan Cook, Props and Puppets Designer Andrea “Dre” Moore, Production Stage Manger Kirsten E. Parker, Assistant Stage Manager Trent Harper, Master Electrician Cody Petenbrink, and Scenic Charge Amy Kellet.
Adventure Theatre MTC
Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd
Glen Echo, MD 20812