Bass Concert Hall, Austin, Texas
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical arrived just in time to kick off the holiday season. The show is part of the Texas Performing Arts Broadway in Austin series. Directed by Matt August, the musical was originally conceived by the three time Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien and in many ways is similar to the movie, but not all of it. So, perhaps, prepare your little ones ahead of time.
Book and lyrics by Timothy Mason, music by Mel Marvin, and additional lyrics by Albert Hague and Dr. Seuss and stars James Schultz, W. Scott Stewart, and Xavier McKnight.
The show itself was done beautifully- the costumes and set were spot on to the film version and transported us to the world of Whoville instantly. The fake jagged peaks, the Who houses, and the costumes of the Grinch and the characters were fun and what we had hoped for. Stripes of pink and red, curly shoes, tall hair, and over-the-top accessories and makeup.
There were puppets to represent the Whoville citizens off in the distance as viewed from above by the Grinch. That part took a little getting used to, but they were able to represent the town better when all were singing around the Christmas tree to “Welcome Christmas”. We loved the glittery, snow-like velvet stage curtain that often came down while Max was narrating.
The characters were mostly familiar, but also a bit different. This time, Max the dog (speaks and has an older version and sidekick young version) narrates throughout, which takes some getting used to. The Grinch (Schultz) absolutely stole the show and was larger than life- quite tall, fully decked out in green Grinch fur and attire, and did a great job personalizing to the location by doing a bit of cowboy yee haws and wearing a glittery cowboy hat. Saying “Austin, you’re a great town” after we sang in harmony. He even talked about ‘Who-ston’.
Cindy Lou-Who had a big part- as a much older, but just as cute as ever, kid. There were fun sing-along songs with lots of audience participation for the hit songs, like “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, with the words written on scrolls (in case you needed them).
The songs that we know and love our an important part of this performance but there were also great new songs like “This Time of Year”, “Now’s the Time”, and “It’s the Thought That Counts”- which we liked although it seemed to be quite long.
The show is about 90 minutes long with no intermission. Please note that strobe lights are used at times.
Tickets are available an start at just $30. You can get tickets at texasperformingarts.org and BroadwayinAustin.com, by phone at (512) 477-1444, or from the Texas Performing Arts ticket office at Bass Concert Hall.
More about The Grinch:
THE GRINCH broke box office records for two consecutive years on Broadway during its holiday engagements at the St. James and Hilton theaters in New York. More than 2.1 million theater-goers across America have been delighted by this heartwarming holiday musical, which the Gannett papers hailed as “A genius of a show! A total delight for both kids and adults.”