It was a cold date night
And without a hint of a grimace
I held my husband’s hand
to go to How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
The mean, old Grinch
starts out alone and sore
But your love for him
will grow three times bigger than before.
Of course the Grinch (when we first encounter him, that is) would rather we leave the theater scorning everything about Christmas. That’s precisely what he’s been doing from his icy mountaintop cave for more than half a century. His only companion is his poor pooch Max, a closet Christmas fan and forced accomplice when the Grinch decides he’s going to rob the holiday from his neighbors in Whoville.
FFTC received two free tickets to review the show but all opinions are 100% my own.
You’ve likely read of the Whos, a people with a passion for Christmas, in the pages of Dr. Seuss’ story. My favorite part of the show was watching these characters pop out of the story and onto the stage — in bright candy colors, singing, dancing, shopping frenetically for last-minute gifts. There are gentler moments among the Whos as well, proving that despite what the Grinch mistakenly believes, these families know the true meaning of Christmas.
Many kids are familiar with the story of the Grinch, and this works to the stage show’s advantage. (I recommend reading the book with younger children ahead of time to introduce them to the characters). Instead of being concerned with keeping children’s attention on the plot, the characters get to shine! The Grinch (Reed Sigmund) is awesomely over the top with his sickly green shag coat and passionate hostility toward Christmas (he might even frighten a toddler or two). We loved the tale’s twist of having an elderly Max (the dog) narrate the story as though it happened to his master many years ago. And Cindy-Lou Who — the tiny Who daughter — is a stand-out with her angelic voice and message of what Christmas is truly about.
Recommended for: all ages. The performance lasts just under two hours including a short intermission. Joy Here: Usually CTC’s age recommendations are spot on, but you may need to take “all ages” with caution on this one. My almost-3-year-old started crying as soon as the Grinch appeared, and I had to take her out. CTC has a “quiet room” where things are less intense, but that did not reduce the scare factor enough to stay. If you have a sensitive child, the appearance of the Grinch may be too scary.
Highlights: Reed Sigmund as the Grinch is 100% incredible. He isn’t bound by the confines of the stage in more than one way! He was definitely my favorite character. Natalie Tran as Young Max and Dean Holt as Old Max carry the story along. I love how Max is fiercely loyal as well as stricken with grief over Grinch’s attitude. The audience participates in the story –willingly or unwillingly. Other than old Grinchy-poo, my favorite characters were Grandma Who and Grandpa Who.
The Peters family would agree that Reed Sigmund stole this show. My husband said it was the best CTC show he’s ever seen. My boys, who struggle with sitting still for full shows, thought it was probably the shortest show they’ve ever seen at CTC. (It wasn’t. It’s almost 2 full hours).
Also, the casting was incredibly diverse! Whos can be any color. And they are EVERY color.
We really liked that this version sticks closer to the book than the movie version.
Directions & Parking: Children’s Theatre Company is located at 2400 3rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404. Parking is available in the adjacent Minneapolis Institute of Arts ramp for $6/5 hrs. There is also free street parking within a block of the theater.
Showtimes: Now-January 7