By Alana King
It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center is ringing in the holiday season with Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.
The show kicked off with Scott Summerall from Children’s Medical Center introducing a young boy named Dylan reading the first few pages of the famous Dr. Seuss story. Dylan is from Lancaster and was injured in a car accident a few months ago that left him paralyzed from the waist down. The narrator, Old Max, takes it from there. Yes, the Grinch’s loyal four-legged assistant from both the book and the cartoon not only has a voice in this musical, the older version of him (Bob Lauder) gets to tell the story of his owner’s attempt to steal Christmas and his eventual change (and growth) of heart.
Just like the famous book and cartoon that airs multiple times each year, the national touring company’s cast tell the story of the Christmas-loving residents from Whoville and the mountain-dwelling, holiday-hating Grinch. Thanks to a number of musical numbers throughout, the thirty minute with commercials cartoon expands into an hour and a half of fun and laughs.
The Whos from Whoville get things going as they sing about what all they love about Christmas and afterwards, both Old Max and Young Max (Andreas Wyder) think about the time of year and what it means as well. However, everyone involved—including the spectators in the seats—is about to become acquainted with The Grinch (Philip Bryan) as he hatches and executes his plan to steal every Christmas-related item the Whos have in their possession to keep the holiday from being celebrated.
In between laughs, the audience learns a lesson just as The Grinch does. In the end, “It’s The Thought That Counts” is more than just a song; the Whos remind everyone what the holidays are truly about: spending time with the people you love and not about the things they may give you.
For the most part, the sets are reminiscent of the illustrations many will remember seeing when they read the story or saw the cartoon and are a mark of nostalgia that those who have grown up enjoying them will feel as soon as the curtains rise.
At certain points of the musical, the cast breaks the fourth wall and involves the audience in the scene. Get ready to cheer for the Grinch and occasionally help him out, but most of all, get ready to sing along to the popular “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” with the two Maxes and The Grinch. Don’t know the song? No problem as the set includes a cleverly that has the words of the verse embroidered on a series of scrolls and the punctuating “Stink. Stank. Stunk.” on a gift box.
With plenty of laughs for children, funny moments that the young at heart will appreciate, and a modern touch here and there (#GrinchLife), Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is a fun, comical experience the whole family can enjoy together.
If this musical doesn’t put you into the holiday spirit at all, you, too, may have a heart that’s two sizes too small.
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical will be playing at the Winspear Opera House until Dec. 17.