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Dozens of Dr. Seuss characters dance at Spring Grove

Jessica Schladebeck
505-5438/@JessDispatch
Spring Grove Area High School performs selected scenes from "Seussical" as students celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday at Spring Grove High School in Spring Grove,  Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The full musical will be presented four times this weekend. Curtain times are Friday March 4  at 7pm; Saturday March 5 at 2pm and 7pm; and Sunday March 6 at 2pm. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Oh the things you will think when you get to see dozens of Dr. Seuss' characters singing and dancing together on stage.

Fifth graders from Spring Grove Intermediate School and third and fourth graders from Spring Grove Elementary School had the chance to do just that on Dr. Seuss' 114th birthday on Wednesday. They enjoyed an abridged version of the high school's production of "Seussical the Musical," which boasts characters from more than 17 Dr. Seuss books, said director Jessica Staub.

Students were chuckling before the music began playing as the Cat in the Hat — played by Seth Shields, who sported the iconic striped hat as well as a full suit of fur — took the stage with the cart-wheeling and tumbling Things 1 and 2. The mischievous trio was joined by the entire cast which include storybook favorites like Horton, Mayzie La Bird, the Sour Kangaroo and a slew of Whoville's Whos from "Horton Hears a Who," as well as the Grinch, Yertle the Turtle and an entire jungle of animals, for the show's opening number: "Oh the Things You Can Think."

Spring Grove sixth-graders Cady Ritz,12, left, and Adam Buckingham, 11, look on as fellow students perform selected scenes from "Seussical" as students celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday at Spring Grove High School in Spring Grove,  Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The full musical will be presented four times this weekend. Curtain times are Friday March 4  at 7pm; Saturday March 5 at 2pm and 7pm; and Sunday March 6 at 2pm. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Cat in the Hat along with a quartet of neon-haired birds narrate the story, which, for the most part, follows the plot of "Horton Hears a Who."

Fifth-grader Kendel Hibner was excited to see one of her favorite characters on stage.

"The Sour Kangaroo is hilarious," she said of one the story's biggest bullies, who — spoiler alert! —by the end turns good.

Spring Grove students perform selected scenes from "Seussical" as students celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday at Spring Grove High School in Spring Grove,  Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The full musical will be presented four times this weekend. Curtain times are Friday March 4  at 7pm; Saturday March 5 at 2pm and 7pm; and Sunday March 6 at 2pm. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Celebrating: Read Across America  is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every student to celebrate reading on March 2, Dr. Seuss' birthday.

"We always get to read a lot, and I still read Dr. Seuss books sometimes," said fifth-grader Amber Heck. "My favorite is 'Green Eggs and Ham' because it's fun to read and it makes me laugh."

Spring Grove students Christian Sherwood (JoJo), left, and Seth Shields (Cat in the Hat) perform selected scenes from "Seussical" as students celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday at Spring Grove High School in Spring Grove,  Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The full musical will be presented four times this weekend. Curtain times are Friday March 4  at 7pm; Saturday March 5 at 2pm and 7pm; and Sunday March 6 at 2pm. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Students also played a few games with the performers, including one where they had to guess which famous lines like "I do not like green eggs and ham.I do not like them, Sam-I-am" came from which book, and they were also tasked with identifying which character was from which story.

"It doesn't really matter how old you are, you can always read Dr. Seuss," said fifth-grader Laci Miller.

Spring Grove's production of Seussical opens on Friday at 7 p.m. and runs through the weekend with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and a final show at 2 p.m. Sunday.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.