Casting Horton for Unchanged Voice?

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September 22, 2012
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I am beginning to plan for this year's musical, and I really like the idea of Seussical, Jr. The cast is comprised of 4th and 5th graders, and I notice that Horton is a baritone. None of my boys have changed voices, and so I was wondering what success others had with performing Seussical with an elementary school cast?Did you just have Horton sing an 8va the entire time? Did you change the keys of some of his songs? Change his melodies as needed? Has anyone else encountered this issue? Just wondering how you dealt with it.Thanks so much for any insight or advice!
8 answers

VIP Answer
September 1, 2016

Dan, It works beautifully with an unchanged voice for Horton.  The original pilot was done that way as well. Feel free to adjust a note if necessary or have he and Jojo flip part of a line if necessary.  That gorgeous, pure head voice executed without pushing is so believeable for this character.  This show is a jewel- have fun with it!

September 1, 2016
William, I don't have an answer for you, but I am wondering how this worked for you. I am just getting ready to do Seussical Jr. with my 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at a small elementary in Ohio, and I have the same concern about Horton not being baritone. I saw one YouTube video of a group that did it with younger elementary students, and it seemed to go fine.

September 1, 2016
William, I don't have an answer for you, but I am wondering how this worked for you. I am just getting ready to do Seussical Jr. with my 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at a small elementary in Ohio, and I have the same concern about Horton not being baritone. I saw one YouTube video of a group that did it with younger elementary students, and it seemed to go fine.

VIP Answer
October 11, 2012
Most definitely Rocky! Check in to http://www.mtishows.com, select Seussical JR. under shows and you will se REQUEST PERUSAL on the left side of the page. This will include a student script and sample CD. This will give you a good idea. I have seen it done in many elementary schools, however it is not a simple show musically. You will have to judge the experience of your kids and make that choice after listening. It is "sung through", mostly music and many times without diologue in between. Truly it is a show you and your kids will NEVER forget, but check it out first. Email me if you need more specifics, very happy to talk about this one. Close to my heart!

October 10, 2012
I am thinking of directing Seussical, Jr. as an elementary production this year. Does MTI send out any preview materials so that I can get a better idea if it would be suitable for the 4th-5th grade students that I will be working with. Can you order scripts individually or will I need to purchase the SHOW KIT? I would also love to hear a preview CD with the music. I do have the Broadway musical on my iPod but realize that not all of the numbers will be int he Junior edition. Any help that you can provide would be most appreciated. Thanks, Rocky

VIP Answer
October 4, 2012
The original pilot was done with a boy soprano very successfully. Absolutely have him sing it up an octave, it works fine. Fine tune what you need to, but it probably won't be much. This is one of the most memorable roles for a young actor. Fun fact? The original Horton from the jr pilot just began his freshman year of college. He looks slightly different from his pics in the Guide. Enjoy every minute of this show. It is a treasure!

September 30, 2012
That sounds exactly like the situation I will be having. Glad to hear you had success with Soprano Horton. Thanks so much!

September 22, 2012
I directed this production with only TWO boys in the cast. My Horton was a boy soprano. It worked out lovely. During Alone in the Universe, I switched some of the vocal parts so JoJo (played by a girl) sang the higher line. I've directed this show twice and it is my favorite. Good luck!