ASHTABULA - - Straw Hat Theatre at the Ashtabula Arts Center will open its 2006 summer season June 9 when The Cat in the Hat plays the emcee in a colorful tale about the power of imagination and belief in yourself.

Written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, "Seussical the Musical" is loosely based on several of the works by Dr. Seuss and brings to life many favorite Seuss characters, including "Horton the Elephant," "Gertrude McFuzz," "Lazy Mayzie" and all of the "Whos" of Whoville.

The play begins when Horton hears a "Who" and becomes the laughingstock of the jungle. The lovable elephant's dedication to protecting the tiniest of planets brings him in contact with a tiny "Who" boy, JoJo, whose overactive imagination has gotten him into troubles of his own!

The action shifts between the jungle and Whoville, taking the audience into the heart

of both worlds on a wild and whimsical journey.

Seuss' lyrical rhythms stick in your head for years after you've first read them on the page and this Seussian adventure, with colorful costumes, whimsical choreography and catchy tunes, is designed to appeal to young and old. Music ranges from Latin to pop, swing to gospel and R&B to funk.

Seussical will play for nine performances, June 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23

and 24. All shows begin at 8 p.m. Straw Hat Theatre is located at the

Ashtabula Arts Center, 2928 W. 13 St. Tickets can be purchased by calling the arts center at (440) 964-3396.

Ticket prices are $12 for patron seating, $10 adults, $9 seniors and $7 students and children.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door if seating remains available.

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