Adventure Theatre MTC’s “Cat in the Hat”: Summer Time Fun at its Best

Rick Hammerly as The Cat, Tyler Herman as The Boy, Jessi...Shearer as Sally. Photo by: Mike Horan

Rick Hammerly as The Cat, Tyler Herman as The Boy, Jessi…Shearer as Sally. Photo by: Mike Horan

image001“It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how,” quips the Cat in the Hat, played by Rick Hammerly, in Adventure Theatre MTC’s sixth and final show in its 2012-2013 season.

As we embark upon summer and head into the July 4th weekend, truer words couldn’t possibly be said. It is fun to have fun, but as parents, do we always know how?

I can tell you that adding this fun-filled 42-minute production to the top of your Summer Bucket List, will help you earn some serious fun chops with the kids.

Me and the girls were lucky to soak the show in last week, on the eve of opening day, and it was a high energy, hilarious and quick-paced production that kept both my 4 and 7-year-old’s attention for the duration. Sometimes a play based off a book deviates from the book and it works – or it doesn’t – but it can disappoint the kids because we know they like consistency and familiarity. This particular production parallels the book perfectly, so the kids will know what to expect but because it’s happening live in front of them, it keeps them enraptured and engaged the entire time. Sally and her brother are outfitted just as you see them in the book, and I really enjoyed not just their penchant for physical comedy but their perfectly timed facial expressions to match the frolic and chaos happening throughout the show.

Alison Cenname as Thing 1 and Cassie Cope as Thing 2. Photo by: Mike Horan

Alison Cenname as Thing 1 and Cassie Cope as Thing 2. Photo by: Mike Horan

Rick Hammerly is absolute perfection as the Cat in the Hat – between his timing, his inflection and his own facial expressions. My girls, especially my oldest, absolutely loved seeing child actors in the play, of course playing Thing 1 and Thing 2, and Alex Vernon plays the puppet fish exceptionally well.

Beyond the lovely set and outstanding costumes, the use of sound effects and the bubbles particularly appealed to the younger ones in the audience. If you have a hardcore bubble lover amongst your brood, I’d suggest sitting in the middle front row, unless of course your bubble lover can’t control herself and will want to jump up and pop all the bubbles, then I’d suggest sitting on the sides, towards the back, to avoid temptation….

Adventure Theatre MTC recommends this show for all ages and as many of you know,

Alex Vernon as The Fish, Jessica Shearer as Sally. Photo by: Mike Horan

Alex Vernon as The Fish, Jessica Shearer as Sally. Photo by: Mike Horan

often times I’ll disagree with their recommendations and suggest a child skew slightly older before you bring them, but not this time. I’d be comfortable even bringing someone as young as 2 or 2.5 to this show because it is so quick paced and relies on physical comedy – not a lot of dialogue. In short – it is a perfect, fun summer production, to escape the heat or in the case of Sally and her brother, do something fun on a rainy day.

On that note, my friend commented towards the end of the production that what they did exceptionally well was recreate the total chaos of what the inside of her house looks like after a rainy day — truer words couldn’t have been said.

Tickets are $19 each and you have until September 2 to enjoy the show. I hear tickets are selling fast and I can understand why. After the show, we enjoyed an evening carousel ride on the lovely Merry-Go-Round in Glen Echo Park and barely dodged an extended park visit. It’s always a treat heading to Adventure Theatre and Glen Echo Park – an easy way to pass a lazy summer day!

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Disclosure: I was invited as a guest of the final dress rehearsal of this production. My opinions here are all my own.

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