If the energetic, opening scene of “The Lorax & Friends” doesn’t leave you with a smile you might as well go home now and practice your best Grinch snarfle.
And even if you adore the toe-tapping number, you probably will never have as much fun as the gals prancing, jigging and frolicking across the stage.
“You kind of have something that’s a little bit out there and different,” said dancer Emma Pennington, a senior at Fairhope High School who portrays the Once-ler. “There is ballet in the show and a lot of different types of dance which I think is very fun for us.”
“The Lorax” is the Dr. Seuss tale of Ted who lives in the town of Thneedville, a place devoid of nature. To win the heart of his true love he must bring her what she most desires: a Truffula tree. The tale of his quest for the tree is told through the story of the Lorax, the once gruff guardian of the forest and the Once-ler who let greed destroy his respect for nature.
The “Lorax & Friends” production is the annual winter performance of the Children’s Dance Theatre in Fairhope.
The music is bright and fun and is the perfect mix for a young audience that might not make it through a traditional ballet performance. The girls do leap and spin on pointe but they also do the hustle.
“The music is exciting,” said Natalie Melton, a Fairhope High School senior, who plays Ted. “It’s nice to break away from doing everything on pointe.”
The costumes and props are as extravagant as the Seuss-names suggest they should be. Keep an eye out for the hilarious, flittering hummingfish and the graceful Truffula trees.
As each strangely named character takes the stage, there is so much more than dance happening. Each performer’s face lights up and tells the story with absolutely not one word spoken.
“There’s a lot more aspects to it when you put on a show like this,” Pennington said. “There’s a lot of acting here using just dance.”
Catch “The Lorax & Friends” for one night only, Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.