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Flamboyant characters step out of the hat

Edison High School students will perform 'Seussical the Musical' this weekend.

February 20, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Cast members rehearse scenes for Edison High School's production of "Seussical the Musical" on Feb. 14.
Cast members rehearse scenes for Edison High School's… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

A trio of monkeys, one with a pierced lip, kicking up a storm.

Big-voiced Sour Kangaroo testing her moves.

Styrofoam-headgear-toting Whos gallivanting with instruments made from PVC pipe, toilet plungers and badminton birdies.

It's high school, so the hoopla continues.

Pretzels, hugs and mismatched socks have all played a part in "Seussical the Musical."

Edison High School's annual production will debut Friday evening, with two performances slated for Saturday. After rehearsing at least three times a week since January, the 34-person cast will take the stage at Huntington Beach High School Auditorium, with the help of almost as many parent volunteers.

Once under the spotlight, the actors will add a unique spin to the story of Horton the elephant, who was shunned by jungle animals upon the revelation that he could hear the voices of a boy named Jojo and the entire planet of Whoville emanating from a speck of dust on a clover. Fellow protagonist the Cat in the Hat stirs up trouble using Jojo's imagination, constructing debacles starring Mayzie La Bird and her giant freckled egg, Circus McGurkus, and others.

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By her own admission, Elisabeth Mullins is a "girly-girl" who loves cute dresses. When the 18-year-old Huntington Beach resident, now referred to as "Mayzie" on- and off-stage, first donned her bright-pink sequined costume, she thought, "Oh, my!"

"To really grab the audience and get into it, you have to stop being yourself and prove that you can live through, and as, your character," said Mullins, 18, who plays the role of a flamboyant bird, who is perpetually bored.

Mullins and her best friend, Paige Schneider, fellow actors at Edison and the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts, pray before stepping on stage. They come together for strength, and of course, to not forget their lines.

"Before every show, I'm in the wings going, 'Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,' shaking, and freaking out," Mullins said amid a flurry of cascading feathers. "But the minute the music comes on, I'm like, 'Daaaaaa!' Even my family asks, 'Who is that?'"

Stage Director Diane Christensen recalled a conversation with an athlete's mother about her son's on-stage discovery of hidden talents, and in turn, himself.

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