Musical lets audience escape into Dr. Seuss' world

"The only hard part is when everyone else in a scene is happy and I have to be sad," he said.

Like DiNicola, Olney has been in "Seussical" before, playing a Who, a circus performer and a fish in the Schenectady Light Opera Company's production. Being a main character is fun, he said, because he gets to sing his own songs.

Beyond that, he likes the chance to just have a good time on stage.

"Other shows can be serious or sad," he said. "This is mostly fun and energetic."

Suzanne Talarico Rucinski, who plays Jojo's mother, Mrs. Mayor, couldn't say enough about what her young co-star brings to the stage.

"He's so incredibly mature," she said. Her husband worked with Olney on the SLOC show and told her "You will love working with Connor," she said, and she's certainly found that to be true.

She had high praise for the entire cast, saying it's a treat to work on such a large production.

"It's interesting to meet a lot of other people," she said. "They're so talented in their own right."

Having seen "Seussical" at SLOC and area high schools, when Talarico Rucinski heard Northeast Family Players was going to do the show, she thought it would be fun to take part. An actor since the mid-1970s, this show marked a departure from the serious fare she usually does.

"I'm usually the naughty maid or the psycho with the gun," she said with a laugh.

The fun aspect isn't all that drew her to the show. Talarico Rucinski really likes the message it delivers: "A person is a person, no matter how small."

"It's very character driven," director Thomas Bambury said, noting that when Jojo struggles with his identity, the Cat in the Hat, Horton and others "try to guide him to find his own path."

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