The King of Curmudgeons • An Exclusive Interview with the One & Only GRINCH

Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas (The Musical) Set to Land at MCFTA Nov. 16-20th

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Theatre,   By: Robert E Martin

07th November, 2022     0

Of all the colorful and magical characters and legends that populate the Christmas holiday, there is none more irascible, contrarian, and plain-old grouchy  than that epic figure known as ‘The Grinch’, who first came to notoriety thanks to the magical writing skills of Theodor ‘Dr. Seuss’ Geisel, who introduced the world to this solitary creature that decides to steal Christmas away from the holiday-loving population of Whoville.

 Written in rhymed verse with illustrations by the author, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! chronicles how the Grinch tries to cancel Christmas by stealing Christmas gifts and decorations from the homes of the nearby town of Whoville on Christmas Eve, only to come to the realization that Christmas is not all about money and presents.

Now the Broadway touring production of ‘Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical’ Is set to land on the stage of Midland Center for the Arts for a series of performances from November 16-20th that brings a fresh brand of magic to this classic holiday tale by bringing it to life on stage. 

Featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas,” The Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic, which also features Max the Dog narrating the scene of events as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to execute his ambitious holiday heist. 

Originally performed at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where it has run every Christmas season since 1998, and running at 90-minutes, this appearance presents an excellent opportunity for families throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region to celebrate the holidays with a show The New York Times calls, "100 times better than any bedtime story."  Indeed, when it first appeared on Broadway in November, 2006 and closed one year later, it became the first Broadway musical to offer 12 performances a week and in the first week of December, 2006, the musical topped the Broadway Box Office grosses, putting an end to Wicked’s top-grossing streak that has lasted 100 weeks.

In a rare and totally unexpected opportunity, The REVIEW recently had the opportunity to interview The Grinch himself about the appeal of this production, it’s phenomenal theatrical run, and what audiences can expect when the cast invades our own happy space here on the planet as we embark upon the holiday season

REVIEW: First, I want to thank you for breaking your holiday routine of generating new ways to create mayhem & merriment to chat with us for a bit today and get a better sense about what attributes and qualities inspire you most through the holiday season.

THE GRINCH: I guess if I can help tell people why Christmas is terrible I’ll get something out of talking with you today.

REVIEW:  Of all the holidays we celebrate, why did you decide to steal Christmas?

THE GRINCH: Because when I look down from my cave in Whoville that seems to be the holiday the Whos really enjoy the most. It’s so full of life and lights and candy and singing and noise and toys, although Arbor Day is a close second because of all those green trees I can’t stand.

REVIEW: You became famous for being a grouchy, solitary creature who tries to cancel Christmas by stealing decorations from homes, Now that cancelling different aspects of our culture seems to be in vogue these days, how has that phenomenon impacted your reception from audiences on this latest tour?

THE GRINCH:   First, I need to correct you. I became famous because I’m fantastic! Secondly, I don’t really pay attention to any of that stuff.  Honestly, I’m a nation onto myself and I just do what I do because I have fun taking all the good things away from people -  especially things like Christmas. It’s what excites me and is something I generally enjoy doing because I’m tired of seeing people being so joyous and happy during the holiday season that I just feel I need to take it all away. It just comes naturally.

REVIEW: So how did your heart get two sizes too small?

THE GRINCH: I don’t really like to talk about it because it’s a condition. Do you go around asking other people you interview about their physical issues? Really, I don’t mean to get indignant, but that’s a significant problem you have, Bob!

REVIEW: Mea culpa. I apologize.

REVIEW: Supposedly it wasn’t until your heart grew three sizes that the true meaning of Christmas came through and you found the strength of ten grinches plus two; but doing a tour like this must be tiring, so what’s the biggest challenge for you once you hit the stage?

THE GRINCH:  Pretending that I like all the other people around me. And having to pretend I enjoy working with all these Whos and dogs and people in the audience sitting in their chairs watching us jump all around.  They get to sit in their chairs and watch us and think it’s so easy, but we’re the ones up there sweating.  But that’s a good thing as well, because you get to see the magnificence that is me!

REVIEW: I remember when I was a kid…

THE GRINCH: When was that, the Mesozoic era?

REVIEW: there was a 30-minute TV show make about your tale, but this Broadway production is 90-minutes long, so what can audiences expect from this expanded production?

THE GRINCH: The show runs 80-minutes because that’s how long I can stand these people. I literally have a clock that runs when the show starts, but people can expect to see a lot of things that were not included in that cartoon version.  By the way, they used my likeness in that animation and I have yet to see any royalties from!  Actually, you better cut that part. I can’t handle those types of questions.

But back to your inquiry, children will see a lot more of the Whos. There’s more about Max the Dog, which some people think is important. But the most important thing is they get to see me Live and In-Person and not rendered as some animation.  You cannot  enjoy the full magnificence of me unless its live in the flesh on stage.

REVIEW: There’s so many tales about different Christmas characters - from Tiny Tim to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - but what do you feel it is about you and your tale that distinguishes you the most from these other characters we associate with Christmas?

THE GRINCH: Because I’m the only one that’s willing to tell the truth, Bob. That Christmas is really about frivolity and craziness and silliness and joy and honestly, terror!  It scares me sometimes seeing all these people thinking Christmas is such a wonderful, wonderful time.  This is why I stand the test of time - because I’m willing to tell the truth about Christmas - that it is not such a wonderful time of the year.

REVIEW: Are there any other topics I didn’t touch upon that you might like to mention?

THE GRINCH:  Yes, buy your tickets.  I get a percentage of the door and Mama needs a new pair of shoes because they’re tied too tight.

REVIEW: Okay, well thanks for the chat. I appreciate your candor.

THE GRINCH:  It was all the problems and not a pleasure at all to talk with you.

REVIEW: The feeling is mutual.

THE GRINCH: Oh, a kindred spirit!

REVIEW: Take care and break a leg.

The GRINCH: Alright, you don’t take care and have a bad rest of your day.

The Broadway touring production of ‘Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas: the Musical’ will run from November 16 - 20th at Midland Center for the Arts, 1801 W. St. Andrews. Tickets start at only $25.50 and performance times are 6:30 PM Nov 16-18th;  11 AM, 3 PM & 6:30 PM on Nov. 19th, and 1 PM & 4 PM on Nov. 20th. Tickets can be purchased by clicking this link.




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