"Cat in the Hat"

“The Cat in the Hat” is on stage at Tempe Center for the Arts.

[Tim Trumble Photo]

Did you know that only one of the actors in Childsplay’s current production of “The Cat in the Hat” has a cat? Debra Stevens, who plays Thing One, has a naughty cat. I found this out when I got to go backstage and interview the actors.

I have a cat, too, and that’s one of the main reasons I particularly liked “The Cat in the Hat.” I think you should go see this play because I bet it will make you laugh, and watching the play will make you feel like you are in the house with the Cat.

Here are two things that I really liked about the play: The pantomimes in the play were funny and made the audience laugh a lot. I also liked the set because it seemed like the kites that Thing One and Thing Two were flying in the house were actually flying. They really had strings that were attached to them, and some were hand-held and metal and stiff. (When I went backstage, I got to fly one and it was very fun. I bet the actors enjoy it.)

Also, here is a sneaky thing about the box for Thing One and Thing Two: there was actually a flap that the actors could get out of, which I wondered about because Katie McFadzen (who played the Cat) carried the box, and I couldn’t believe it had two people inside!

The machine that the cat uses to clean up the mess was also cool. It actually doesn’t drive on its own. One of the actors pushes it.

Another part of the production I liked was the fish. They had a guy on stage (Ricky Araiza) using a puppet in a fishbowl to be the fish. He was dressed in an orange suit that made him look like the fish.

So, how did they make the short poem and picture book into a long play? They used the pantomimes I talked about earlier. For instance, when Sally and her brother were in the window and bored, they tried to have fun with a bike, balls and other stuff, but it didn’t work. This was all done in pantomime.

When the Cat says goodbye, he does a dramatic ballet dance exit, and one of the actors said that was their favorite part. Another thing the actors said was that it was very easy to memorize the rhyming lines in the play, but it was difficult too, because if you got something wrong the rhyme was over and the audience would know.

Although the play was the best part, I liked the Childsplay 360 activities because they were kind of fun to do while waiting for the play to start. There was one where you could make your own poem, for instance. These were great because little kids sometimes get bored waiting for the play to start. I know because I have done that.

Go see this play! Even if you are a dog person.

If you go

What: Award-winning theater company Childsplay’s production of “The Cat in the Hat,” adapted from the book by Dr. Seuss

When: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 p.m. Sundays, through March 16

Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway

Cost: $12-$25

Information: (480) 350-2822 or Childsplayaz.org

• This article is part of Childplay’s Kid Reporter program, in which four local youngsters ages 7-12 write and post reviews. The reporters also get an exclusive backstage tour and interview with cast members. For information, visit ChildsplayAZ.org.

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