Mark 4man and his wife, Lynzee, are teaming up to co-direct Spotlight Youth Theatre’s production of “Seussical Jr.”
4man has been a musical director for many shows around the Valley, while Lynzee choreographs and performs at various theaters. But it’s the couple’s first joint venture as co-directors of “Seussical,” which opens Friday and is based on many of Dr. Seuss’ characters.
Don’t expect a traditional rendition of the 2000 Broadway musical. Many of this production’s inspirations are from the movie “Tron” and “The World of Color,” a nighttime attraction at Disneyland’s California Adventure.
“We wanted to do something different that’s very imagination-friendly,” 4man said.
This includes well-designed costumes and some that glow in the dark, as well as a colorful set that appears as if it could be the cast’s personal jungle gym.
“It’s been the perfect creative outlet for us,” 4man said.
“Seussical Jr.” follows Horton the Elephant from the book “Horton Hears a Who!” and his endeavors to protect the people of Who-ville, who live on a tiny speck of dust. In addition, other characters from Seuss’ books appear in the musical, including the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch.
The musical debuted on Broadway in 2000 and ran for six months. It’s become a favorite in regional, community and high school theaters.
Kenny Grossman, artistic director of Spotlight, said he originally scheduled the classic “The King and I” as the spring musical for the Glendale youth theater.
“This show was a better fit here, and we could get even more kids involved,” Grossman said. “And having Mark and Lynzee as directors is perfect.”
The couple already is in charge of the troupe’s singing group, “Spotlight Glee.” And Mark 4man, who is resident musical director for Nearly Naked Theatre in Phoenix, has been the music director for previous shows at Spotlight, including “13” and “Tommy.”
“Even though we’ve never directed a show, as a musical director and choreographer, we’ve been around the process for years, so we’re just taking it to the next level,” he said.
Lynzee 4man’s time with “Seussical” is split between the youth theater and performing in the musical “Nine” at Phoenix Theatre.
Though they’ve been quite busy, they’ve enjoyed working with the cast of 34, who range in age from 8 to 17.
“These kids are so professional, and they’ve handled whatever we’ve thrown to them gracefully,” 4man said.