Review: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

By Ryan Kerr

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical was wonderful!  What a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with kids of all ages.

The recently re-opened Sony Centre (formerly the Hummingbird Centre, formerly the O’Keefe) is hosting Dancap’s imported tour of the Grinch until Dec 30th, and all I can say is – grab some friends and go!! (Look at all those exclamation marks!!!)

The Grinch was first published in 1957 by Dr. Seuss, whose whimsical illustrations and clever rhymes criticized the commercialization of the holiday, overshadowing the true ‘spirit of Christmas’ – one of compassion, inclusion, and love.  The story follows a hairy, green, monstrous creature who lives in icy solitude (aside from his dog Max) high atop fictional Mount Crumpit.  Below him, every year, the happy citizens of Whoville celebrate the season with songs and toys, and with much mirth and merriment. The Grinch is determined to stop it all.

The original book was made into an animated TV special soon after publication, which is where the first musical tendencies emerged.  “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – perhaps the most well known of the Grinchey melodies – has been covered many times over by artists as diverse as k.d. lang and the Brian Setzer Orchestra since its 1966 television debut.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical, follows the book and tv adaptations closely, using Seuss’ text wherever possible.  The sets and costumes echoed the book’s original black and red colour scheme, showing the meticulous attention to detail in every nuance.  The audience gasped when the curtain lifted to reveal the opening scene, and many visual treats surprised and delighted the packed theatre as the show continued.

Stefan Karl as The Grinch used his impeccable comedic timing and physicality to perfection, and found the delicate balance between frightening and delightful in every scene.  Seth Bazacas’ enthusiastic Young Max (the dog) was an excellent buffoon to his Grinch, and was only challenged in cuteness by Brooke Boyd’s Cindy-Lou Who, the petite protagonista who belts her blues away.

I have rarely been so charmed by a big-box touring production.  Like the festivities which typify this season, it will be gone before you know it.


Dr. Seuss’  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical

The Sony Centre for the Arts

Until Thursday December 30th

Fri December 17, 2010 7:00PM

Sat December 18, 2010 11:00AM/2:00PM/5:00PM/8:00PM

Sun December 19, 2010 2:00PM/5:00PM

Mon December 20, 2010 2:00PM/7:00PM

Tue December 21, 2010 2:00PM/7:00PM

Wed December 22, 2010 2:00PM/7:00PM

Thu December 23, 2010 2:00PM/7:00PM

Sun December 26, 2010 2:00PM/5:00PM

Mon December 27, 2010 11:00AM/ 2:00PM/ 5:00PM

Tue December 28, 2010 2:00PM/7:00PM

Wed December 29, 2010 2:00PM/7:00PM

Thu December 30, 2010 11:00AM/2:00PM/5:00PM

Tickets $25 –  $74