ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Dr. Seuss’s whimsical world is coming to Elizabethton for the next two weekends as the Bonnie Kate Community Theatre stages its second show ever: the fast-paced “Seussical The Musical.”

“There’s an incredible amount of talent on that stage in terms of the singing and dancing and they’re just doing a great job — it’s going to be a really good show,” director Renee Christian told News Channel 11.

The six performances include 7:30 p.m. shows on April 21, 22, 28 and 29, and 2:30 p.m. matinees on April 23 and 30.

The Cat in the Hat (John Schmidt) speaks to Gertrude McFuzz (Jayme Caraway) during a “Seussical The Musical” rehearsal at the Bonnie Kate Theater in Elizabethton. (Contributed)

The 35-member cast has actors ranging in age from 5 to 75, all representing some of Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters in a musical mashup that centers — with many entertaining twists — on the elephant Horton and his saga to protect the populace of the microscopic planet populated by the “Whos.”

“We’ve got phenomenal leads in the show,” Christian said. “John Schmidt as Cat in the Hat is fantastic, Sam Lamon as Horton is also fantastic.”

The two-act play runs fairly quickly, and Christian said it manages to be enjoyable for all ages.

“Kids are going to be entertained because there’s always something going on, but the characters like the Cat in the Hat, they have some subversive humor, he’s sort of the master of chaos, so adults will enjoy it as well.”

“Seussical” follows on the fledgling community theater group’s debut show “Arsenic and Old Lace,” which ran in October. Christian said people quickly began asking her when the region’s newest community theater would stage a children’s show.

Full-on children’s shows require a specialized staff, but Christian said “Seussical” presented a great middle ground.

“It involves children, children are going to love the show, these are characters they’re all going to know from reading,” she said. “This was our way of saying, ‘we’re not quite ready to do a complete children’s show yet but here’s a taste of what we can offer, and hopefully it will be something that families will really love.”

It will also be the last Bonnie Kate Community Theater production to be performed inside the Bonnie Kate for up to two years while the historic theater gets a major renovation just before its hundredth birthday.

Million dollar baby

A largely grant-funded restoration is currently set to begin around October, Christian said. In the meantime, the community theater that was just established in early 2022 already has two shows in the works.

The Coffee Company in downtown Elizabethton will host the group for a murder mystery dinner theater run in the fall, and Jayme Caraway, who plays Gertrude McFuzz in “Seussical,” will direct a production of “Godspell” in the spring of 2024.

That play, which doesn’t yet have a location but will probably be at a church, will be followed by a summer production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in collaboration with Elizabethton’s Parks and Recreation Department.

“We don’t want to let the grass grow under our feet,” Christian said. “Even though the theater itself will be closed we want the community theater to continue to thrive and reach more people and invite more people and just do our thing, which is to do shows.”

Tickets for “Seussical The Musical” are $15 for adults and $10 for people 17 and younger. The can be purchased online at the Bonnie Kate’s events website or at the door, though Christian said tickets are selling fast.