Seuss on Stage
The Cat in the Hat is back on stage and in a national memorial
by David Johnson
Who was the real Dr. Seuss? Click here for a complete biography.
This article first appeared February 22, 2001
After more than 40 years as a literary figure, The Cat in the Hat is at last as famous as famous can be. The Cat is the narrator of a Broadway play, Seussical the Musical.
He says that his success is now "98¾% guaranteed."
Other Dr. Seuss characters, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie McGrew, and Sour Kangaroo also take prominent roles in the extravaganza. Horton has been a star for years, well known for hatching an egg and hearing a Who. Mayzie recently received nationwide publicity for her remarkable daisy.
The Cat in the Hat Takes Center Stage
The Cat has become so important that TV comedian Rosie O'Donnell even took two weeks from her busy schedule to portray him in the play.The Cat is even allowed to wear his trademark red and white striped hat indoors! In fact, that hat, which was once considered bizarre by "respectable" cats, has become a coveted fashion statement among chic New Yorkers.
Gaining on the Grinch
Insiders speculate that the Cat's success could go a long way to smoothing over his stormy relations with the Grinch, who starred in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
According to reliable Whoville sources, the Cat has long resented the Grinch, who rose to stardom in the 1960s. A 1982 TV movie, The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, describes how the Grinch once ruined the Cat in the Hat's picnic.
Statues Here and There
The Cat is also pleased that his statue will be included in the Dr. Seuss National Memorial in Springfield, Mass.Other statues will depict a tower of turtles from Yertle the Turtle; a life-sized Horton and other Seuss characters; a large chair with the text of the Seuss story Oh, the Places You'll Go, engraved on its back; and a small statute of the Lorax on the stump of a Truffula tree with the warning "unless."
The Lorax Protests
City officials agreed to place the statue of the Lorax at the entrance to the Springfield Science Museum following intense negotiations with his agent, the Once-ler. The Lorax, who speaks for the trees, had refused to allow his image to be used unless it would promote the environment.The Lorax did agree to allow sculptor Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, Dr. Seuss's stepdaughter, to create the statue. It is unclear whether the reclusive Lorax will attend the official opening of the memorial, set for June 2001. He may ask a Brown Bar-ba-loot or a Swomee-Swan to represent him.
All Cats Should Read
The Cat is using his celebrity to promote reading, one his favorite causes. He is national spokesman for the Read Across America campaign launched by the National Education Association.