Last summer, it was a high-flying boy who wouldn’t grow up. This year, it’s a Who-hearing pachyderm who’s faithful, 100 percent.
Westchester Broadway Theatre presents the second Family Theatre Company production, Stephen Flaherty’s and Lynn Ahrens’ “Seussical: The Musical,” an eye-poppingly colorful production directed by John Fanelli, through July 31.
It’s an opportunity for young actors from across the Lower Hudson Valley to work alongside paid actors. And Fanelli — the man behind Thornwood’s Lighthouse Youth Theater — is ratcheting that up a bit, with a mentoring program in which the youngsters understudy the older actors and go on in their place for five to 10 performances.
“They go off in the corner and talk about their roles and how they approach a scene,” Fanelli says. “It’s very cool. I’ve had some of the paid actors come up and ask if their understudy can go on to see how they’ll do and help them work on things.”
The mentoring program began last summer, with the inaugural production, “Peter Pan.” Fanelli says it was born of an observation he had made in teaching theater kids through the years.
“Kids in my program learn from each other as much as they learn from me. It’s great for them to be inspired by working alongside these college graduates,” he says. “The kids are so driven to learn so much. And this show has all those themes about having wings and learning to fly.”
They have a long time to learn: Unlike Lighthouse productions, which might run six performances, the Family Theatre Company has a 44-performance run at the Elmsford dinner theater. Performances Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays include a served meal. Fridays are show-only performances, without a meal.
Family Theatre Company is the production-company side of Fanelli’s educational Lighthouse Youth Theater, geared to put on a polished show each summer (and, he hopes, more often one day).
The name reflects the material.
“Westchester Broadway Theatre has great family shows and they draw families,” he says, “but we put family right in our name: Family Theatre Company. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get people to check you out.”
Musical direction is by Michele DeAngelis, with choreography by Nyack’s own Lexie Frare.
Performances on Thursdays (matinee and evening), Saturdays (matinees) and Sundays (matinees and evening) include a served meal. $75; $67 for seniors; $52 for kids 16 and younger.
Friday evenings are show only (no meal) and tickets are $45. 914-592-2222. Go the Westchester Broadway Theatre website.
“Seussical” stars: Augie Abatecola (Mt. Kisco) as The Cat in the Hat; Christine Gavin (Ossining) as Mayzie LaBird; Brian Krinsky is Horton the Elephant; Fatye Francis (White Plains) is a Wickersham. Mackenzie Larrabee (Ridgefield) and Sofia Singer (North Salem) alternate as Cindy Lou Who; Lauren Lucksavage is Gertrude McFuzz, and Matt Stout (Dobbs Ferry) is Yertle the Turtle/General Ghengis Khan Schmidtz.
The cast includes: Brittany Bonamass, Cores Jasmine (Mamaroneck,) Corrao Joe (Thornwood), Micah Cowher, Antonio Dell’Orto (Scarsdale), Alyssa DiPanfilo (Bronxville), Emelia Ducic, Grace Fanelli, Jackson Fanelli and Ryan Fanelli (all of Yorktown Heights), Stephanie Ferreira (Mt. Kisco), Lily Fialkovic (Yonkers), Carina and Gianna Florio (Pleasantville), Jonathan Genovese (Valhalla), Julia Gold (Katonah), Marissa Heintzmann (Pleasantville), Pierson Holliday (Sleepy Hollow), Jennifer Jonas (Goshen), Kenzie Kyle (Ossining), Michele Laino (Dobbs Ferry), Hannah Lewis, Melissa Magaliff (White Plains), Tara Mazur (Ridgefield, CT), Lauren and Kayla Moore (Mt. Kisco), Allison Mucciolo (Mt. Kisco), Sami, Kimmi and Lexi Nauss (Katonah), Gabriella Palminteri, Elena Pascullo (New York), Molly Perrine (Bedford), Jeff Raab (Chappaqua), Jenna Rush (Pleasantville), Joey Sanzaro, Carolyn Savoia (Ridgefield), Noah Silverman (Armonk), Rebecca Simpson-Wallack (Briarcliff Manor), Staubi Lexi (Rye), Shannon and Tim Stout (Dobbs Ferry), Hope Sullivan (Valhalla), Kiah Thomas (Port, Chester), Lauren Wagner (Yorktown Heights), Katelyn Williams (Carmel) and Ashley Zeitler (Ossining)
Photos by Eric Delanoy: The cast of “Seussical” includes, from left, Augie Abatecola (The Cat In The Hat), Noah Silverman (Mr. Mayor) and Kayla Moore (Mrs. Mayor).