Dr. Seuss’s classic has been adapted for the stage by Katie Mitchell with an eye to young children, of course, but teens and adults will find much to enjoy as well. Director Jason Ballweber and his design team have given the piece the very look of a Dr. Seuss book so that you feel as if the story you read as a child is manifesting right in front of you.
When the Cat (a devilishly funny Dean Holt) invades the home of two children, Sally (Elise Langer) and Boy (Douglas Neithercott), he tears the place apart and even scares the family pet fish (Gerald Drake). The kids are terrified that they’ll catch heck when their mom comes home and sees the place has turned into a mess! To make matters worse, the Cat brings in two blue-haired trolls called Thing One (Ana Christine Evans) and Thing Two (Diogo Lopes) who go full throttle in increasing the destruction.
The Children’s Theatre production on its Cargill stage is complexly and impeccably timed for sound effects, slapstick, and kids scurrying about to control the damage while the critters create anarchy. If there’s any message here it’s that it’s easy to lose control of your situation if you don’t assess it correctly before you get into it. But ultimately, The Cat in the Hat is a vibrant good time in the theater.