How the Grinch Stole Christmas at The Children’s Theatre
The holiday season approaches, so it must be time once again for that lovable grouch called â€śGrinchâ€ť to attempt to steal Christmas from us. He canâ€™t succeed, as we know, but itâ€™s oh, so much fun watching him try.
The Childrenâ€™s Theatre Company was packed with bouncing youngsters of all ages on Friday for their opening of the musical by Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin based on Dr. Seussâ€™s Christmas favorite, â€śHow the Grinch Stole Christmas.â€ť
For this production, company member Reed Sigmund is transformed into the green, hairy creature. Sigmund romps and rants, drums his long, furry fingers, barks at his sweet dog, Max, and simply delighted the young audience Friday night who loved his every growl and gesture.
As good as this veteran is, he met his match in Natalie Tran playing Cindy-Lou Who. Tiny â€“ very tiny â€“ as she was, Tran commanded every scene she was in with ease and charm. Her pitch perfect voice singing in â€śSanta for a Dayâ€ť could make anybodyâ€™s heart feel a little bigger.
All the familiar Whoâ€™s are there, in wonderful candy-colored fuzzy costumes by David Kay Mickelsen. The enchanting set recreates the familiar snow-laden trees and mountaintop, and the flying sleigh scene really is a bit of the olâ€™ Childrenâ€™s Theatre magic. As gorgeous as the set was, it left just barely enough room for the full cast of adults and children to execute simple choreography. Â However, it was plenty of room for the cleverly choreographed antics of the Grinch and young Max, played by an endearing Brandon Brooks.
Denise Prosek directs a live pit orchestra, which I love to hear. Thereâ€™s no comparison with recorded.
Part of the appeal of Dr. Seussâ€™s books is the rhythm of the rhyming lines, which was barely recognizable in H. Adam Harrisâ€™s interpretation of Old Max. Harris is a fine actor, but this pairing didnâ€™t work quite as it should, and I doubt that many found Old Max as the elderly version of Young Max particularly believable.Â However, theyâ€™re both likable, and the narration works. More to the point,
CTCâ€™s â€śGrinchâ€ť is sparkling and sweet.
Just the right thing for a holiday treat!
(It canâ€™t be helped.) â€śThe Grinchâ€ť runs through December 30.