A ‘Cat in Hat’ dance, full of lovely Things

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By Ellen Dunkel, For The Inquirer

The sun had just set. The wind sure did bite. We went to the theater that blustery night. All we could do was to sit, sit, sit, sit. But we were rewarded with a charming little hit.

Saturday night at the Wilma Theater BalletX premiered The Striped Hat, co-artistic director Christine Cox’s adorable tip of the hat to Dr. Seuss. A fresh-faced newcomer, Laura Feig, and Kevin Yee-Chan are featured as the restless home-alone siblings who get a timely visit from the fun-loving, trouble-making Cat in the Hat (Tara Keating).

Thing 1 and Thing 2 are the Cat’s usual sidekicks, but Cox added Things 3 through 5 for an even more chaotic effect. The quintet are imps in red footie pajamas who slide across the floor, lead the siblings in little jump combinations, and leave toppled-over furniture and upset flower pots in their wake.

Meanwhile, the pet fish (Anitra Nurnberger) tries to reel everyone in. The inside-ballet joke is that while the rest look like they just stepped out of a cartoon, Nurnberger is a prima ballerina in a salmon-colored ruffled dress, pink tights, and pink pointe shoes. Feig and Yee-Chan encircle her with their arms, creating a human fishbowl.

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