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Bronxville Actress Shines on Stage

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- On a recent Friday night, Bronxville resident and actress Alyssa DiPanfilo sang and danced during the musical “Seussical,” at the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford. Watching her light movements and confident poise, one might think she found her part easy.

She did not.

“It can be tricky,” she said. “A lot of songs have the same rhythm but different words.”

Inspired by the books of Dr. Seuss, the musical, which has its last performance Sunday, tells the story of Horton, an elephant struggling to save the minuscule people of Whoville, a town sitting on a tiny speck of dust. DiPanfilo plays one of the four birds that narrate what happens in the Jungle of Nool, where Horton lives with many other creatures. Full of vibrant characters and colorful costumes, the show demands great energy from the actors.

“It’s song, song, song, a couple of sentences, song, song, song,” DiPanfilo said.

That Friday, all dressed in orange and displaying a long feather tail, she danced with graceful steps, whether they were ballet leaps or salsa twists.

“I started with dance when I was three,” said DiPanfilo, now at 17 and a senior at Bronxville High School.

Allyson Muccioli, 13, shares the role with DiPanfilo. Each plays the part for a week and rests the other. The Mount Kisco resident said she didn’t like to make comparisons, however she commended DiPanfilo's dancing skills.

“I think she has more sass than I do,” Muccioli said.

Sue DiPanfilo, Alyssa’s mother, is also impressed by the young actress.

“I’ll be her biggest fan,” she said. “We are prepared for whatever direction she decides to take.”

The direction seems to be set. Alyssa said she plans to study acting and musical theatre in college, but she wouldn’t move very far.

“Everything is right here,” she said. “Broadway is right here.”

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