So the Seuss is a very odd creature these days:
It stops and it starts and goes all different ways.
It thinks little children will say, "That's so sweet!"
When it spoofs other beasts that have roamed The Big Street.
It tries to tell seven good stories at once,
Puts them inside each other, then drops them for stunts.
It's got lots of charm; at the same time, you know,
That charm often seems borrowed from some other show.
Yes, the Cat in the Hat causes quite a to-do,
Horton hatches an Egg, and he still hears a Who,
And gets thoroughly dissed by a Sour Kangaroo,
While Whoville is still racked by Butterside wars
And Gertrude McFuzz her tail feather deplores.
These creatures sing often (and some of them can),
And they danceon a rather flat-footed old plan.
A Dream Play
By August Strindberg
BAM Opera House (Closed)
By Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, co-conceived by them with Eric Idle
Richard Rodgers Theatre
Broadway and 46th Street
The show sports a Shinera bruise on its eye
Which they claim will be funny someday, by and by.
But good points in plenty can also be seen
When its Chamberlin speaks in his manner serene,
Or when Playten and Zagnit, the Mayors of Who,
Are fretting their way through emotional stew.
(Sharon Wilkins is fine, too, as that Kangaroo.)
And one should praise the self-centered Mayzie LaBird,
Whose loud squawk is from Pawk so endearingly heard.
But does Seuss make a musical? Yes, I suppose,
With some bits out of joint from its nose to its toes.
It still carries the feelings that lived in the books,
And will make a wise child give them much longer looks.
But it may also tend, with its noise and its muddle,
To make kids think the theater's a big shapeless puddle.
And it's sad that in Showbizz, our land of gray skies,
Wise children grow up to be Broadway wise guys.
And that, dears, is the tale of the musical Seuss
Which took so many dollars and tears to produce.
Let it sit as a moral, young artists to warn:
Where there's Seuss, there'll be doctoring, sure as you're born. MICHAEL FEINGOLD, age five-plus