In this musical adaptation, the Grinch's story is told by his dog Max, who is now an old dog ready to move on from the cave in the mountain above Whoville. But first, he shares with the audience the remarkable transformation he witnessed. No mention is made of what has happened since that pivotal Christmas long ago, or where the Grinch is now, but it's a clever device that allows much of the original descriptive rhyming language to be used. Old Max remembers how disagreeable Grinch was when he was an eager young pup, and how he forced him to help steal Christmas from the Whos. The plan failed when the Whos woke up on Christmas day to find all their presents, decorations, and food gone, but still sang and made merry, filled with the joy of togetherness and the spirit of the holiday. The Grinch realized that perhaps Christmas is more than presents and roast beast, his heart grew three sizes, and the rest is history.**
|Natalie Tran as Young Max and|
Reed Sigmund as the Grinch
(photo by Kaitlin Randolph)
The rest of the cast is pretty great too. Natalie Tran has graduated from the role of Cindy-Lou Who to young Max, and is an adorably sweet and eager puppy. CTC company member Dean Holt is the older, wiser, slower dog, who narrates the story with nostalgia. The two often mirror each other's movements, showing the connection between them. The entire ensemble of children and grown-ups alike are so joyful and fun to watch as these oddly shaped and colorful creatures, and director Peter C. Brosius and choreographer Linda Talcott Lee keep everything moving smoothly in organized chaos. Last but not least, special mention must be made of Mabel Weismann as the purest soul in Whoville, Cindy-Lou, the one who melts Mr. Grinch's heart (along with everyone in the audience).
|the cast of The Grinch (photo by Kaitlin Randolph)|
How the Grinch Stole Christmas continues through January 7. Bring your little Whos for a fun and heart-warming holiday treat, or go by yourself - I've learned that it's OK for adults to go to the Children's Theatre by themselves. This Grinch is fun for adults, children, Whos, and furry green grumps.
*To read about all of the holiday shows I've seen this year, click here.
**Plot summary and other text borrowed from what I wrote about the 2014 production.