It is Fun to Have Fun!
The following review has been updated at the request of the reviewer. We have taken down her previous review, Something Went Bump, and apologize for the confusion and inconvenience. —HTS
I love children's theatre, but had never been to a children's play at Kennedy Theater. My daughter is now old enough to start attending age-appropriate shows so I brought her along. Having my daughter with me in a way forced me to watch the 45-minute performance through the eyes of a child. And in the eyes of a child, The Cat in the Hat is a delight to watch, a magical experience in which the beloved classic book really does come to life.
The set, with a blue, white and black motif with splashes of red and pink, look straight out of the book. I even pulled out a copy of the book for reference, and sure enough, the props and set are on point, right down to the white bicycle. Director Nathaniel Niemi comes up with lots of clever ways to bring portray certain scenes in the book, like the kite-flying scene in the hallway.
Costumes by Marc Marcos also were also true to the book, with the exception of the Fish (Alten Kiakona,) a puppeteer wearing a tuxedo with a scale-patterned vest and a fish tail. I loved the costume, and can appreciate the creativity that Marcos put into it but felt it didn’t fit in with the rest of the cast’s simpler costumes. The fishtail Kiakona wore was also, while very pretty, unnecessary and kind of a distraction.
The acting was great, though nothing left me particularly impressed. Nick Brown as the Boy and Kela Neil as Sally’s exaggerated expressions and movements added to the cartoonish feel of the play. Malia Wessel and Dylan Chace Lee are hilarious as Thing 1 and Thing 2, and the kids loved them.
Despite a couple of minor criticisms, The Cat in the Hat is still a great children’s play, guaranteed to be a treat to young children. I highly recommend it to families, but the average adult theatergoer may find it just okay. The kids loved it though, and that’s all that matters.