"The Lorax" is based on Dr. Seuss' book. Photo by Dan Norman
The audience cheers when the little beaver-like guy with the bushy mustache announces “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.” He’s the conscience and soul of the new musical based on what Dr. Seuss said was his favorite book, “The Lorax.” And it’s somehow fitting that this environmentally biting show opened at the Old Globe Theatre the same week that Scott Pruitt resigned as head of the EPA that he’d been charged with making toothless.
As for the musical, produced by the Globe and Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis in partnership with London’s Old Vic, it tries boldly to appeal both to kiddies and adults. There are fuzzy animal characters and dazzling puppetry for the former, and a couple of noisy showstoppers (“Super Axe Hacker,” “Thneed 2.0”) for the latter. At times the big-show wows come close to overwhelming the sweet, simple message -- that the flora and fauna of our planet are more important than money. But The Lorax is so meticulously presented that only a climate-change denier could complain. (Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 7/11/18.)
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.