Review: Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat

If you happen to go, bring a toddler in tow

(l-r) Oktavea LaToi, Jason Graaf, Amelia Galindo, and Luciana Marinari in Zach Theatre's Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat - (photo by Suzanne Cordeiro)

Could it be I contracted a PTSD
At the Bass Concert Hall from going to see
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on national tour?
It was more than my left frontal lobe could endure

So now Seuss's rhymed scheming is stuck in my mind
When I reflect on his work, all that I find
Is tetrameter verse coming out of my pen
Looks like my review is a Seuss poem, again

His The Cat in the Hat has returned to the Zach
Since a COVID delay, the play's finally back
And now ticketholders are shouting with glee
We're talking those others, just not I – nope, not me

The Cat* comes a-calling, with two Things he employs^
Who trash the small house of one Sally and Boy+
The Fish# tries to stop them and gets real involved
She talks quite a bit, so I guess she's evolved

This leaves me dumbfounded, that's the problem you see
This crazyass plot just makes no sense to me
Liz Fisher directs, but what is she after?
Besides plenty of pathos amidst all the laughter

The design's also odd. Is this absurdist theatre?
It's under an hour, which is all the more weirder
There's a 2pm curtain, which I find odder still
When you walk through the door, there is no playbill

I see the Zach lobby has a free-standing bar
Nice to know some escape won't be very far
There's an option I found if there is the need
I spied me a patron with a vape pen with weed

When I take to my seat and read the press folder
I learn that the show is for kids 3 and older
A kids show, oh yeah, now it starts to make sense
How could I be obtuse and also so dense

The young boy to my left is the talkative type
And so is the girl sitting just to my right
They tell me what's what from a kid's point of view
It's all meant to be fun, they proclaim. Hmm, who knew?

It accomplishes this, the show's fun that's for certain
From the opening line to the bows sans a curtain
And though the antics were great and held my attention
There are just a few things I really should mention

The show's pacing was slow on this opening night
And not all the props operated quite right
There's a projection screen where animation can go
But so little was used in the course of this show

But the acting was great, just as broad as can be
To best suit young children's sensibilities
The fourth wall was broken during most of the play
The kids really seemed to like it that way

When I got in my car and I aimed it toward home
I wished I had not planned to come here alone
When you go, take a child who can help you relate
To all the Seuss stuff that you've so come to hate

* Jason Graf plays the Cat in the Hat

^ On opening night, Alexandra Watson and Aria Lee as Thing 1 and Thing 2

+ On opening night, Alexa Nelan and Cameron Redwine as Sally and Boy

# On opening night, understudy Madison Murrah as the Fish

~ Tyler Rankin (scenic), Austin Brown (lighting), Kristin Knipp (costume)

Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat
The Kleberg at Zach Theatre, 1421 W. Riverside, 512/476-0541
Through April 23
Running time: Approx. 45 min.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Arts Reviews
Review: Steel Magnolias
Review: Steel Magnolias
City Theatre finds the Southern comfort in this tear-jerking dramedy

Bob Abelman, March 17, 2023

Theatre Review: Austin Playhouse's Nightbird
Review: Nightbird
A timely treatise on the space between Black America's past, present, and future

Bob Abelman, March 10, 2023

More by Bob Abelman
Review: Hyde Park Theatre's <i>St. Nicholas</i>
Review: St. Nicholas
Conor McPherson revival is a retelling of a tall tale worth repeating

March 21, 2023

Review: <i>Godspell</i>
Review: Godspell
St. Ed’s turns stale water into drinkable wine

Feb. 24, 2023


Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, The Zach Theatre

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle