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Emerson Colonial Theatre Official Blog


Posted on September 8, 2023

This week in 2000, as the Colonial prepared for the celebration of our 100th Birthday, Seussical the Musical had its pre-Broadway opening.

Based on the many children’s stories and worlds of Dr. Seuss, Seussical was created by members of the team behind the Broadway hit Ragtime, including composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

The show starred David Shiner (who was born in Boston) as The Cat in the Hat, Michele Pawk as Mayzie La Bird and Kevin Chamberlin as Horton the Elephant. Chamberlin was nominated for the 2001 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and went on to become widely known as Bertram on the Disney Channel’s "Jessie."

After its Broadway run, Seussical went on to find success in local markets through regional and community stagings and is now one of the most performed shows in America. 

Note: Following mixed reviews, many aspects of the show changed dramatically between the Boston and Broadway runs. These production photos are of the Broadway cast and were taken by Joan Marcus.