Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch
Books and lyrics by Timothy Mason
Warning: This show may cause hearts to grow three times normal size
|Broadway in Chicago i/a/w Big Leauge Productions present|
|Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!|
Review by Katy Walsh
“Who likes Christmas? The Who’s like Christmas!” Me too!
Broadway in Chicago presents Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. Whoville is getting the town ready for its favorite holiday. Everyone from gramps to Cindy-Lou Who is ready to hold hands and sing “Fah who for-aze! Dah who dor-aze! Welcome Christmas! Come this way!” Up on the hilltop, a green, hairy monster is plotting the demise of the Whoville Christmas joy. Although the Grinch takes everything – stockings, presents and even took their roast beast – he can’t stop Christmas! Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a holiday heart-burster.
The beloved Christmas book turned cartoon turned movie turns to the stage. The narrator, Bob Lauder, is an older version of Max, the Grinch’s dog. A reflective Lauder sets the tone for holiday magic with a beautiful duet “This Time of Year” with his younger self, Seth Bazacas. Later, Bazacas and Stefan Karl (Grinch) have an impressive circus-style gift collection. This show is all about the Grinch. And Karl is the star of the show. He uses his physicality and dangling hairy fingers to heighten the humor. He is deliciously evil. Don’t worry: the classic “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is on the song list. The show turns interactive as Lauder and Bazacas lead the audience in singing along. It’s a childhood flashback! No Grinch would be complete without a Cindy-Lou Who. The role is being played in rotation by Jenna Iacono and Georgia Kay Wise. Georgia Kay Wise, who played Cindy-Lou Who for the opening, brought the adorability of ten Cindy-Lou Who’s plus two. A dainty Wise tip toes around the stage and then belts out “Santa for a Day.”
This foursome is the reason to see Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! They remind us that Christmas doesn’t need all the frills and ribbons to be beautiful. Which is good because the sets,which call for a Seuss-inspired whimsy, look unfinished and chintzy. Still, the holiday spirit triumphs over the lackluster setting.
Warning: This show may cause hearts to grow three times their normal size. Side effects include holding hands in the streets and singing.
Who likes the Grinch? The Who’s like Grinch. Me too!
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical continues through December 16th at Cadillac Palace, 151 W. Randolph (map). Tickets are $18-$95, and are available by phone (800-775-2000) or online through Ticketmaster.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at GrinchMusical.com. (Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission)
Photos by PaparazziByAppointment.com
Stefan Karl (Grinch); Georgia Kay Wise, Brooke Lynn Boyd (Cindy Lou Who); Bob Lauder (Old Max), Seth Bazacas (Max the Dog), Serena Brook, Brance Cornelius, Ariana Gibb, Ryan Knowles, Ginnie Lee House, Rebecca Prescott, Carly Tamer, Jenavene Bazacas, Andrew Boetcher, Matt David, Matt Densky, Lauren Devine, Katie Emerson, Kyle Garvin, Willow Grey, Emily Grosland, Jackie Nguyen, Domonique Paton, David Thornton, Lilly Tobin, Jennifer Wilcove
behind the scenes
Matt August (director); John Lee Beatty (set); Pat Collins, Lauren Phillip (lighting); Robert Morgan (costumes); Colle Bustin, Michael H.P. Viveros (sound design); Thomas Augustine (wig, hair design); Chad Jason (make-up design); Gregory Meeh (special effects); ACME Sound Partners (original sound design); West Hyler (asst director); John DeLuca (original choreography); Bob Richard (co-choreography); Jack O’Brien (original director, conceiver); Louis G. Spisto (executive director); Joshua Rosenblum (incidental music, vocal arrangements); Michael Starobin (orchestrator); David Krane (dance music arranger); Andrew Graham (musical supervisor); Don S. Gilmore (technical supervisor); Alison Franck (casting); Paparazzi By Appointment (photos)