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The Mashtis p. 15

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Theater Critic

What better time to begin the Christmas season and imbue oneself with cheer than on the day following Thanks- giving? No, it wasn’t the Black Friday sales, although the shopping scene in Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” puts one in mind of the mall.

It’s a kinder, gentler mall – and it’s in Whoville. The bargain is feeling one’s Grinchy heart lifted as children in the plaza and in their seats at the Old Globe Theatre experience the simple wonder seeing a green, fuzzy beast discover that he can’t steal Christmas from the Whos, who carry the holiday in their hearts. In other words, it’s not the gifts under the tree or their cost, or even the roast beast; the deeper joy of the season is in family, the upturned

Volume 3, Issue 25 • Dec. 9–Dec. 22, 2011 • San Diego Uptown News


faces of children and love. The story of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christ- mas!” is told by the green guy’s dog, Old Max (Steve Gunder- son, a veteran of the produc- tion, new to this role). Old Max has come to bid farewell to memories of that day from long ago, when he was just a pup (Young Max is again played the charming Logan Lipton), and the grumpy Grinch (debuting Broadway matinee idol Steve Blanchard) decided to stop the joy and the caroling down in Whoville by stealing Christ- mas. As those who read Dr. Seuss’ books to their children know, Mr. Grinch fails because he meets a little girl named Cindy Lou Who (8-year-old Caitlin McAuliffe, who alter- nates in the role with Remy Margaret Corbin). In the stage production, she melts his heart with “Santa for a Day.” His heart grows three sizes and he finds love and acceptance

Tuesdays-Fridays; 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sun- days through December 31, Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. Some modified curtain times apply due to holidays and holiday events in the park.

Info: (619) 23-GLOBE Web:

in Whoville despite his appear- ance and his attempted theft. Twenty youngsters divided into two teams comprise the young and teen Whos. The current production, continuing through Dec. 31, is the Old Globe’s 14th annual. As seasoned attendees discover, the show is invigorated this year with a new quartet of adult cast members, Geno Carr as Papa Who, Kelsey Venter as Mama Who, Phil Johnson as Grandpa Who, and Amanda Naughton as Grandma Who. Veterans also notice more subtle insertions and a few reinvigorated costumes. Whos are a notable challenge to fit, with their odd, insect-like bodies and the men and boys’

Steve Blanchard as The Grinch and Remy Margaret Corbin as Cindy-Lou Who in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at The Old Globe. (Photo by Henry DiRocco)

wasp-like tails. Robert Mor- gan’s original costume designs

are still endearing. James Vasquez directs the produc- tion originally conceived and directed by Jack O’Brien. Each year one goes home humming songs from the famil- iar score, notably “Santa for a Day,” but this year in particular the anthem “Fah Who Doraze (Welcome Christmas),” Old and Young Max’s duet “This Time of Year,” and the adult quartet “Now’s the Time.” Blanchard hasn’t fully

captured the vaudevillian “One of a Kind” and is, as of now, a kinder, gentler Grinch, but it’s a tough balancing act being green and mean and still not scaring the little ones. Music Director Ron Colvard conducts an eight-member or- chestra. My only carp would be that Paul Peterson’s sound de- sign imbues the Who Chorale with vocal edginess that verges on unpleasant.u

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