How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

Santa may wear red, but this year our favorite holiday do-gooder is 100% green. After attending the opening performance of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, we think Santa Claus might have to join the ranks of the unemployed because The Grinch did such a great job spreading holiday cheer. How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become just as much a part of our holiday tradition as watching The Nutcracker, so we were thrilled to be invited. In fact, we were so excited to see it that I drove up to San Francisco a day early! Okay, I only did that because I suffer from mommy brain, especially during the holidays, and I thought the show was on Wednesday, but that doesn't change the fact that we were really looking forward to seeing it. After seeing the show, it turns out that our excitement was definitely not misplaced. It was wonderful -- well worth both drives :)

Practically everyone know the story of The Grinch, but here's a synopsis anyway:

About the show
Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss' classic holiday tale as it comes 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 then he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is "two sizes too small", decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit. Celebrate the holidays with this heart-warming holiday classic.

You can pretty much read through the whole of Dr. Seuss' book in 10 minutes, so they had to fill out the story here and there in order to keep audiences entertained for 90 minutes (it's shorter than the usual musical production, which makes it really good for young kids). Just like in the movie, Cindy Lou Who plays a much bigger role than in the book. Cindy Lou Who's family makes an appearance, and there are musical numbers featuring the Whos in Whoville doing their holiday shopping and preparing for Christmas.

Not to worry, Dr. Seuss purists: I think the additions actually enhance, rather than detract, from the spirit of Dr. Seuss' tale. In fact, the whole production feels like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! The costumes are wacky and colorful, and the Whos all look and act like cartoon versions of real people. The sets look like Dr. Seuss's inked illustrations, and even Max the Dog's reindeer antler is tied to his head with red cotton thread.

Unfortunately I can't show you how Dr. Seuss-like everything was, because photos weren't allowed in the theatre, but I can tell you to watch this video clip from the musical:

Even better, I can show you what the Grinch looks like close up, because after the show he came out to say hi to me, my kids and some other lucky families! You can really appreciate his costume at close quarters; you can't really tell where his hair ends and his costume begins! He stayed in character the whole time, and even complemented The Pea on her grinchy green coat.

The kids really loved meeting him -- Jammy made it a point to introduce him to our own little stuffed Grinch (which the real Grinch loved). In fact, they loved every moment of the show. They laughed out loud at all the right parts, and even at their advanced ages of 10 and 7, they found themselves shouting along with the rest of the audience whenever the Grinch egged them on. It is such lighthearted fun, We couldn't have asked for a better way to get into the Christmas spirit!

The Grinch plays at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre through December 29. You can purchase tickets at SHN's ticket website. This is the last stop on the Grinch's 2011 holiday tour, so don't miss it!

Disclosure: I received 4 complimentary tickets to the show, courtesy of SHN. Show information is provided by SHN and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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