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Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical is Positively Delightful

The misanthropic Grinch (center) undergoes an Ebenezer Scrooge-like Christmas conversion in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical (photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com)

The misanthropic Grinch (center) undergoes an Ebenezer Scrooge-like Christmas conversion in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical (photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com)

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has been a major holiday favorite among kids (and kids at heart!) since it was first published in 1957. In fact, it was so beloved and so popular that it went on to be made into a celebrated television special in 1966, a feature film starring Jim Carrey as the title character in 2000, and a musical in 1994. This same musical, with a few minor tweaks for modernization, is now onstage at The Durham Performing Arts Center, just in time for the holiday season!

For those not familiar with the story or who need a brief refresher, it takes a look at the town of Whoville, where everyone loves Christmas and embraces it wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, though, there’s a miserly, green Grinch who lives “just north of Whoville,” and who, one fateful Christmas, decides to steal Christmas and its joy from the Whos, along with the reluctant help of his dog, Max. Fortunately, as most know, the story does have a happy ending, perfectly suited to the “feels” of the holiday season.

The Whos of Whoville joyously celebrate the Christmas season (photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com)

The Whos of Whoville joyously celebrate the Christmas season (photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com)

This particular production, directed by Matt August, is geared toward children and families, but anyone who loves the story or who just plain loves Christmas is sure to enjoy this fanciful tale. The delightful set, designed by John Lee Beatty, could have been taken straight from the illustrations in the original book, giving the show a wonderful, whimsical feel. Plus, there are lots of brightly colored lights, eye-catching costumes, and more…all guaranteed to delight viewers, especially those of the younger variety.

Philip Bryan is perfectly cast as the Grinch. With his amazing, furry green costume and his comical delivery, he creates a Grinch who isn’t scary enough to frighten younger viewers, but who is definitely funny enough to make even the adults laugh. Another major standout in this bright cast is little Danielle Guilbot (Julia Rose DiPiazza at alternating performances), who stars as the adorable Cindy-Lou Who, a young character who forms a very special relationship with the Grinch. Bob Lauder also does a great job as “Old Max,” an older, wizened version of the Grinch’s dog, who serves as the narrator for the show. With his slow, even voice and kid-friendly delivery, Lauder really helps to carry the show along smoothly and clearly.

Like most of Seuss’ work, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a magical story with deeper meanings for kids and families to explore together. The musical version of this work is no different, making it a wonderful holiday outing for all!

Bob Lauder as Old Max narrates How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com)

Bob Lauder as Old Max narrates How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com)

The Durham Performing Arts Center presents Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!: THE MUSICAL at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 2; 11 a.m. Special Sensory Performance and 2, 5, and 8 p.m. Dec. 3; and 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 4 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.

TICKETS: $30-$130. Click here for DPAC Special Offers.

BOX OFFICE:

DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), tickets@dpacnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.

Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1550867.

GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.

SHOW: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/the-grinch and https://www.facebook.com/events/1672876842964383/.

VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQkmT8D3GIs.

DPAC NEWS RELEASES: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-returns-to-dpac and https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/special-sensory-friendly-production-how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-the-musical.

THE TOUR: http://www.grinchmusical.com/, http://www.bigleague.org/13_grinch.htm, https://www.facebook.com/grinchmusical/, https://twitter.com/grinchmusical, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss’_How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas!_The_Musical#2010-2015:_North_American_National_Tours.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan-your-visit/directions.

PARKING: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan-your-visit/parking.

NOTE: PAC says there will be a Special Sensory Performance at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3rd, “for children and adults on the autism spectrum and their families.” Click here for details.

OTHER LINKS:

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 Minneapolis, 1998 San Diego, and 2006 Broadway musical): http://www.grinchmusical.com/ (official website), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-show/dr-seuss-how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-438378 (Internet Broadway Database), and https://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).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

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.

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story, Reviews