Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a staple in the lineup of Christmas stories we watch again and again during the holidays. Whether you’re a purist and choose the original cartoon version or prefer the live-action Jim Carrey rendition, it’s a heart-warming story perfect for the holiday season.
Just for a short time in Philadelphia, fans of both film adaptations will enjoy Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical at the Merriam Theater, Dec. 19–29. After seeing the show during its premiere, Dec. 19, I can easily say this show is a family affair. Nearly everyone there had children in tow — of all ages. There were mother- daughter groups, grandparents, parents with babies, father-son groups and groups of young children with sets of brave parents. A few staff members outside the theater handed out TD Bank Grinch hats to the lines of fans coming in and we took our seats.
The story is a little different than the one we all remember. Max, the Grinch’s trusty dog, is all grown up and narrating the story of how the Grinch stole Christmas all those years ago when he was a young pup. The story features new songs, modern references, intense color and sound, audience participation with sing-alongs and even a few imaginative new scenes more focused on the Whos down in Whoville.
The show was essentially a new version of the classic, rooted in the original story, but with modern flourishes, vibrant color and innovative ways to move the story along.
All that “noise noise noise” in the Christmas morning scenes with the Whos playing with toys may be a lot for some audio-sensitive members of the family, but the visuals were impressive. The set design looked like it popped right out of the book, with the illustration details on point, but with added mobility for the stage.
Then, with a pop of snow raining down on the audience from the ceiling, the show was over and the first few rows were covered in white powder. This show is just on view in Philadelphia for the holidays; tickets begin at $45 and can be found here.