Few Christmas stories are more beloved than Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” a tale about a mean, green Grinch who lives alone (unless you count his dog Max) atop a mountain “just north of Whoville” and hates all the Whos and their love of Christmas. The story has been made into a classic 1966 television special, still aired each year, and a feature film starring Jim Carrey, but DPAC’s take on the poetic tale, directed by Matt August, puts a whole new spin on things. The usually voiceless Max is finally given a voice; in fact, the older version of Max narrates the events of years past—events from the year that the menacing Grinch attempted to ruin Christmas for the Whos.
Bob Lauder’s rich, warm voice makes him the perfect choice for storyteller and for “Old Max,” and the perfection doesn’t stop there. Frenzied but fun choreography by Bob Richard, costumes inspired by the original book illustrations, the cutest and most able-voiced Cindy Lou Who (Jenna Iacono at the opening night performance) imaginable, and, of course, a hilarious, show-carrying Grinch (Stefan Karl) combine to create a picture-perfect holiday performance that delights grown-ups and kids alike.
Karl’s Grinch is over-the-top funny and even a little endearing; his ritzy “One of a Kind” number is the highlight of the show, and Karl has no trouble keeping the little ones giggling from start to finish. It also has to be mentioned that the classic songs “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” are alive and well in this musical. Audience members even get to sing along with the first iconic song, and no matter what the viewer’s age, not joining in on the fun proves impossible—the festive energy is just that infectious. With its cartoony imagery and ultimately sweet storyline, DPAC’s production is (Christmas) spirit-lifting and a must-see for the holiday season.
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5; 8 p.m. Dec. 6; 11 a.m. and 2, 5, and 8 p.m. Dec. 7, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco District.
TICKETS: $42.75-$121.75 (including fees). BOX OFFICE:
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-2787 or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/how_to_buy_tickets.
Ticketmaster 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1550867.
GROUP RATES (20+ tickets): 919-281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/group_services.
NEWS RELEASE: http://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/added-saturday-matinee-to-how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-at-dpac.
VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQkmT8D3GIs.
SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: http://www.dpacnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC.
DPAC ADVISORIES: “Content Advisory: Most parents would find this program suitable for ages 4 and above. Kids at DPAC: All guests require a ticket, regardless of age. Children under the age of 4 are not allowed at these performances. Children must be also able to sit quietly in their own seat without disturbing other guests.”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957 children’s book): http://www.randomhouse.com/book/43047/how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-by-dr-seuss/ (Random House) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_The_Grinch_Stole_Christmas (Wikipedia).
Dr. Seuss (nee Theodor Seuss Geisel, author, cartoonist, and lyricist, 1904-91): http://www.seussville.com/ (Seussville) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss (Wikipedia).
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 animated TV special): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss%27_How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas!_(TV_special) (Wikipedia).
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical (1994 musical): http://www.grinchmusical.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss’_How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas!_The_Musical (Wikipedia).
Mel Marvin (composer): http://gmtw.tisch.nyu.edu/object/MarvinM.html (Tisch School of the Arts at New York University bio) and http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=9663 (Internet Broadway Database).
Albert Hague (composer for 1966 animated TV special): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Hague (Wikipedia) and http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=11804 (Internet Broadway Database).
Timothy Mason (lyrics and book): http://americantheatrewing.org/biography/detail/timothy_mason (American Theatre Wing, Inc. bio) and http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=438381 (Internet Broadway Database).
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.