Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
You all know the story, the sweet simple plot/ Of how the old Grinch learns what Christmas is not/ For twenty five years now, this show has been playing/ So surely there’s nothing new that’s worth saying?/ It’s fun for the kiddies, the sets are outstanding/ And yet, something’s odd in the whole Whoville branding…
Ok, enough of that — though it’s worth noting that the Old Globe’s adaptation of this Christmas classic plays fast and loose with the rhythm of Seuss when it suits. But the point stands: after you hear the Who kiddies scream “Mine!” as they fight over their toys, and see the Who grownups sing about how it’s the thought that counts even as they chase madly after every on-sale gift item, you may be tempted to conclude that the Grinch has a point in his hatred of Christmas. You may even start to like the old Grinchy rotter (playedas a cross between Jim Carrey and Tim Curry by Andrew Polec, resplendently made up and costumed, and nailing it in the facial expressions department). And if that happens, well, it sort of takes the wind out of the dramatic sails. He's not an anti-hero; he's a bad guy in need of saving.
Still, atleast his conversion at play’s end still makes sense. For their part, the Whos could use a come-to-Jesus (well, come-to-Cindy Lou Who) moment to explain their astonishing response to losing everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. They assure us in song that Whos like Christmas, but why, exactly? Maybe that’s just their jam? The planning, the presents, the party? That’s what they tell us, anyway.
But soft — even as I type this, I can hear the “Bah, humbugs” echoing in my brain, warning me against dimming the Christmas cheer and urging me to laugh and sing along. (The sing-a-long is a great touch, by the by. You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch…)
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