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Theater Review: “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

Edward Watts as The Grinch and Dan DeLuca as Young Max,
Photo credit:
Jim Cox

He’s baaaaaack. Yep, it’s November, and time for that grumpy, moldy green Grinch to snarl and stomp around, telling us how much he hates not just Christmas but also those Whos down in Whoville who seem to looooooove Christmas.

It’s been 20 years since the Grinch first graced (if that’s quite the word) the Old Globe stage, and he’s been back ever since, to the delight of cast and audience members alike. We’ve seen most of this cast in previous productions.

Steve Gunderson is back as Old Max, the Grinch’s retired dog, who’s come back to say goodbye to the Grouch, Mt. Crumpit and the Whos before he leaves for good.

But there’s a new Grinch – Broadway veteran Edward Watts, who skulks around with a suitably unpleasant attitude. 

Dan DeLuca – playing The Grinch’s dog Young Max – is new this year too, trying to get his boss to lighten up and get into the holiday spirit. He doesn’t succeed, but adorable little Cindy-Lou Who (Reese McCulloch on opening night) will manage it.

You know the plot: the Grinch decides that once and for all, he’s going to prevent Christmas from coming by stealing all the presents and decorations. Surely that’ll do the trick.

So he saddles up Young Max and they go down to Whoville late on Christmas Eve to grab the stockings by the mantel, the trees and of course the gifts, while everybody’s asleep.  

But the Grinch doesn’t expect to run into Cindy-Lou, who softens the old meanie up nicely and leaves him wondering why his chest suddenly feels constricted. Oh yeah, that’s right, his heart has grown three sizes.

The show is suffused with good will, cute songs (the audience even gets to sing along), and charming choreography by John DeLuca and Bob Richard, and lots of irresistible Whos (young and not-so-young) cavorting around the stage.

It’ll put you in just the right holiday mood. 

The details

“Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” plays through December 24, 2017 on The Old Globe’s Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

Tuesday through Friday at 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 11 am, 2 and 5 pm