The curtain opens to Max (Bob Lauder), the Grinch’s pathetic puppy from the picture book, now aged yet so much more lively as the story’s narrator. As Max began to speak in rhyme like Dr. Seuss, a Grinch-like grin began to spread across my face and my son’s too. Yes, many of his words come directly from the book that I can recite while half asleep. Later Young Max (Andreas Wyder) joins the older version of himself on the stage and puts a smile on the face of every puppy-loving child in the audience. Instead of the somewhat depressing Max from the book, families are treated to an actor in an adorable puppy costume complete with a big bouncy tail.
The cuteness does not end there; the Whos in Whoville are absolutely charming as they sing about their love for Christmas while dancing around the set inspired by the drawings from the storybook. The most lovable of them all, Cindy-Lou Who, teaches us all a lesson or two about Christmas during this show. As a bonus, every little girl in the audience will be able to relate to the tiny actress’ kindness and openness to the big, green, scary Grinch.
The Grinch (Phillip Bryan) is the star of the show, as expected. At first, I was a bit taken aback by the ugliness of the big, shaggy green character and his monstrously long fingers. However, by the end of the show, his transformation from a foul monster to a dancing, Christmas-loving Grinch is complete, and it was a joy to experience. I’m happy that the Grinch did indeed show us that classic smile, and my six year old son loved how the Grinch’s “heart grew three sizes that day.”
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical makes its Washington area premiere at National Theatre December 13 – 31, 2016. Tickets, starting at $48 plus applicable service charges, are on sale now online at www.thenationaldc.com
Watch a video about the performance:
Know Before You Go
- The more familiar your family is with the original Dr. Seuss picture book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and the classic cartoon rendition of the book, the more you will like the show. There are plenty of nuances from the book; be sure to read it a few times before you go see the show. (I don’t have older kids, but I would assume if your kids think that they’re too cool for the book and the cartoon, they’ll feel the same way about the show. If they still enjoy sitting down with the family to watch the cartoon, they’ll enjoy the show too.)
- During the first few scenes with the Grinch, the theater is quite dark. This might be scary for a preschool age child. If your three or four year old child is particularly scared of dark places andor monsters, you should be prepared to give lots of cuddles in the first 30 minutes of the show – or possibly even decide to wait until next year. However, I can report that there was a tiny preschooler sitting right in front of us that did just fine throughout the entire show.
- Also, you’ll remember from the classic storybook the Grinch complains of the “Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!” There is one particularly noisy scene depicting this page from Dr. Seuss’ story. As a preschooler, my son was very sensitive to noise and no doubt as a young preschooler this scene would have bothered him a great deal; however, at age six it was not a problem whatsoever.
- Multiple times during the show, “snow” – tiny pieces of tissue paper fall on the stage and front row of the audience. If this might be a distraction for your child, find a seat a few rows back.
- Worried that your little one might not be able to sit beyond the one hour mark? There is a quick sing-a-long and a snowfall in the last 15-20 minutes, which should help with those inevitable wiggles just a bit.
- Get tickets here