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Review of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at CTC, 2014

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Quote of the Day:  I can’t help it, I love Christmas.  Max, the dog, as the Grinch is glaring at him for singing along with the Whos down in Whoville.

Pictured Brandon Brooks Reed Sigmund 5

Brandon Brooks and Reed Sigmund, Photo by Dan Norman

Back by popular demand at The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN, is The Grinch! (even though he hates all that singing and the noise, noise, noise, noise!) Old Max the dog returns each night with his suitcase packed full of memories as he retells the story of how the Grinch tried to steal Christmas. How he went down to Whoville, disguised as the gift giver in red, and Max himself wearing antlers and pulling a sleigh. The Whos do seem to be infatuated with the whole Christmas thing, the shopping, the buying, the crowds, and the stuff, oh the STUFF! 

Pictured Full Cast

Full Cast of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at The Children’s Theatre Company. Photo by Dan Norman

Speaking of stuff, Krista, her girls, and I usually get down to the metro early and do another activity to make a day of it when we go to the theatre. Often, we do something cultural, like visit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (connected to the Children’s Theatre), or take in some historical site. But, this time, we decided to go to the Mall of America. I hadn’t been there in years. It was the girls’ first trip. It was quiet, which was a relief, and we weren’t bumped around by all the shoppers, (it’s still a bit early for that), so we navigated the place pretty well. Driving away from that commercialized conglomeration, we thought about the different feeling you have from spending time there, verses doing something cultural. After walking past store after store with music stuck on replay, you start thinking of all the things you might want to have, or need to buy for gifts, all the STUFF! After a cultural or artistic experience, you feel educated and inspired. You think of what you can create. You remember the new songs, the bright colors, the emotional response, the need to tell stories, watch them, and share them. And, you get it! The Grinch hated the noise and clamor of Christmas, all the meaningless mess and expense. When his heart finally grows three sizes, he has been touched by kindness and grows in love for Who-mankind. 

Brandon Brooks as Max, Reed Sigmund as the Grinch, and Natalie Tran as little Cindy Lou Who.

Brandon Brooks as Max, Reed Sigmund as the Grinch, and Natalie Tran as little Cindy-Lou Who.

Natalie Tran and Autumn Ness. Photos by Dan Norman

Natalie Tran and Autumn Ness. Photos by Dan Norman

The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, and particularly director Peter C. Brosius, knows how to create the true Christmas spirit. How the Grinch Stole Christmas sparkles with magic and love. The show has original music by Mel Marvin. Victor Zupanc is the talented conductor. The music is wonderful, but it’s not the same as you hear in the animated version. They play “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” as background music, which is fun. And, the Who’s have a new special song which is catchy and sweet. The costumes are so amazing, you can’t take your eyes off of them. The Whos with their rounded shapes and boing-y hair crack me up. We sat in the second row, so we were up close and personal, noticing every expression. The girl next to me walked to her seat and freaked out. Her mom explained that she didn’t realize that they’d be sitting so near the stage. She hid on the floor and peeked through the seats, fearing that the Grinch would be too scary. Well, when the show started and the music played and the Whos came out in their whimsical way, she slowly got a little higher off the floor, peered above the seats, and soon her mom had her back on her seat where she giggled and watched with wide eyes. When her dad check on her during intermission, she said, “The Grinch isn’t too scary.” In fact, I could tell she was loving the show. Great job, CTC for creating a show that gives us just enough scary to make a story, mixed with humor, color and love to warm our hearts!

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is playing at The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Nov. 11, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015. They have a wide range of ticket prices and showtimes, as well as student performances. This is a show that will delight the young and old. Perhaps, your own heart might grow a few sizes!

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  What are some holiday traditions you enjoy?

 

  1. Mary, this does look fun. The whimsical colors and shapes do attract, even from this vantage point! I especially love how you woven little bits of your trip and personal observations away from the stage into your review. I felt like I was at the mall with you, all filled up on creativity and warm fuzzies. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That’s always been a favorite of mine!

  3. Lauren Nickisch says:

    Ditto Roxane’s response. A very interesting and well-written blog, Mary! Thanks!

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