Dave Kelly is the former host of Breakfast Television. He is currently playing the Cat In The Hat in Alberta Theatre Projects production of Seussical the Musical.
The Dr. Seuss books are iconic, what’s it like playing one of those characters?
Yesterday, I popped on stage through a trap door. It was packed with a school show and all of the kids go, “That’s the cat! That’s the cat!” because of the hat. It’s really funny, every other character, like Horton ... is a big guy with a great voice, but he’s not wearing a big prosthetic nose or anything like that, but because I have that hat, everybody knows that’s the Cat In The Hat, so there’s a bit of pressure and it’s kind of fun.
Did you read a lot of Dr. Seuss to prepare?
Yeah, as dumb as it sounds. I, of course, read them all as a kid but I didn’t remember, he’s a little devious, the cat. He’s not just kind of fun, he likes to stir the pot and make a mess. He does clean it up but he has no problem being very anti-authority. It’s kind of fun.
Do you find it difficult playing such an eccentric character?
No ... I mean, obviously, there’s a script but I get to sort of be as crazy as I want to be and as crazy as the cat is.
What can people expect when they go to see the show?
It’s every Seuss character you can imagine on stage, so you get to meet Horton and Mayzie and Gertrude and JoJo and Wickersham, and even the Grinch makes a special cameo. And, of course, the cat. It’s kind of based around Horton Hears A Who. It’s basically the Horton story with all the characters helping to tell the story.
You’ve spent a lot of time in front of an audience over the years, what do you like so much about being on stage?
I’m a little ADD I think, so what’s great is it focuses you, you don’t have time to wander around, you have to focus and I like that. And I’ve always loved telling stories and this is just another way to tell a story.
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