Monday, November 25, 2013

More Who than You

This weekend I attended a performance of Seussical.  That's all well and good, because this past summer I completed a script for a Dr. Seuss biography comic.  It was only right that I finally saw the musical version of his legacy.  The real reason I saw it was because my brother, robotic(s) professor at Yarmouth High School Paul Lamson-LaPume, was in the pit playing his trombone.  He's the only one in the family who continued playing his childhood instrument, even though we received absolutely no local notoriety as the Second Genuine, Elastic Family Band.

Anyway, it's a pretty good play, splicing together the most famous elements from Seuss's collected works, centering on Horton the Elephant from his two separate adventures (Horton Hatches the Egg, which is his first appearance, and Horton Hears a Who, the more famous follow-up), with narration from the Cat in the Hat.

What it really got me thinking was how much of Seuss, at least as defined by Seussical, is dedicated to the power of the imagination and independent thought, two attributes I greatly treasure, both in general and as a writer (especially as a writer).

Later, because the whole afternoon and evening was spent with the rest of Paul's family, I got to read Seuss himself to my nephew, including Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax.  The Lorax is a surprisingly forthright social commentary, all about environmentalism (although unlike his successors Seuss stressed the word "UNLESS," which my nephew asked me about, and I waited until we'd finished the story to explain).  For Seuss there was always hope.  Even the dastardly Grinch is as famous for his redemption as his grinchy ways (much like his famous predecessor, Scrooge).

Seuss is known for a lot of things, including his peculiar use of nonsensical words and creations such as Horton, the Lorax, and the Grinch.  But perhaps now I'm beginning to see him as much as a champion for the thing he embodied best, a imaginative outlook on the world around him.  That's the part I most want to embody myself as I work on my own stories.


  1. Cool that you got to see a performance of Seussical. Dr. Seuss always had a hopeful message in his stories, and it was presented in a most imaginative way.

    1. Although I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm of young actors (I was one, too), I wonder what a professional production is like.


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