Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Review and Parents Guide

Cast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota 2022

I was excited to get a chance to see Children’s Theatre Company‘s (CTC) version of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The last time we went, I took my crying toddler out as soon as the Grinch made his first appearance. The costume is a bit scary. We tried the quiet room. We tried the lobby. We ended up spending the whole show playing with blocks at The Mia. This year, she’s no baby and was excited for a mom date.

Notes: FFTC was provided complimentary tickets for the show.  All thoughts are my own. Banner Image: How the Grinch Stole Christmas Children’s Theatre Company. Sunday, November 6, 2022. Photographed by Glen Stubbe Photography for Childrens Theatre Company.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The musical follows and expands on the storyline of the original Dr. Seuss book with both original music and some music from the animated classic. The musical and lyrics were created by playwright Timothy Mason with music by Mel Marvin and adapted from How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. You’ll recognize “You’re a mean One, Mr. Grinch,” which was originally written by Seuss and composer Albert Hague for the 1966 TV special.

The whole cast was amazing. We love Reed Sigmund‘s portrayal of the Grinch and the puppy Young Max was perfectly performed by Audrey Mojica to contrast Dean Holt‘s Old Max. Although my daughter loved Cindy Lou Who (played by Elsa Dungan-Hawks) the best.

Audrey Mojica and Elsa Dungan-Hawks as Young Max and Cindy Lou Who in Children's Theatre Company's 2022 Production of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Audrey Mojica and Elsa Dungan-Hawks as Young Max and Cindy Lou Who. Sunday, November 6, 2022; Photographed by Glen Stubbe Photography for Childrens Theatre Company

I’m so glad we had a chance to finally see this family favorite at CTC. It was worth the wait. We laughed at Grandpa Who’s misheard statements, got a bit teary when The Who’s candle-lit singing and belted along with Deck the Halls at the end.

Know Before You Go

  1. Children’s Theatre considers The Grinch an all ages show. The family who at next to us this weekend brought a baby and toddler, who both did great and really enjoyed being at the show with their parents. I was not so lucky a few years ago. You know your kids best. If you are unsure, know that lap passes are only $5, so that makes it less of a gamble.If they can be sensitive to scary costumes and loud sounds, I recommend an escape plan – the quiet room, the lobby (where you can usually watch the show on a monitor). If all else fails, choose tickets for a Saturday or Sunday matinee when the museum is open. You can hang out in The Mia Family Room. If you can wait until January 6th, there is a sensory-friendly performance, however, you won’t have the museum as a back up for that Friday night performance.
  2. Read the book once or twice before you go. I was surprised to find out my 8-year-old didn’t know the play was a book, since we own it and read it annually. I forget that children’s memories are short. We read it together the next morning, but I can’t help thinking she missed out on a lot if she didn’t know the rhymes from the book. The scenic design came straight from the book as well, so it was fun to spot those similarities.
  3. If you can, arrive early and pre-purchase your intermission snacks (or bring your own). This is advice I always give and never follow. We fly in moments before the show starts and then spend our intermission standing in line for cookies. Someday I’ll learn.
  4. The ride home is a great time to talk about inclusion. “Look how Cindy Lou Who was able to change the heart of the Grinch with kindness. Can you do something like that make someone who has been excluded at school feel more welcome?”
Cast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas Children's Theatre Company. Sunday, November 6, 2022
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Children’s Theatre Company. Sunday, November 6, 2022
Photographed by Glen Stubbe Photography for Childrens Theatre Company

Personal age recommendation:

Because of my previous experience, I was going to recommend 5+ for this recommendation, but the sweet kids next to me did so well, I will agree All Ages is a good rating. Just know your own kids.

How to Dress for This Show:

It’s wintery in Minnesota. Dress in layers you can peal off. Its fun to dress up, but if you’re going to walk from your parking spot to the theater, winter gear is totally appropriate. However, theaters get hot, thus, the removable layers.

Masks are encouraged in the theater, but hardly anyone in our audience wore them. Do what works for your family there.

More Grinchy Fun Around Town

Definitely, definitely share the book. If you get the chance watch the old TV classic or watch the movie.

See the Movie in Theaters:

  • Marcus Theatres are screening the 2018 version of the movies, December 2-9th and the 2000 version December 9th-15th.
  • Emagine Theaters is also showing the 2000 version of the movie December 13th-16th.

Photos with the Grinch:

  • Downtown Hastings is hosting its annual Holiday Hoopla Small Business Saturday event on Saturday, November 26th. Stop by Hastings Tavern to get a photo with the Grinch for only $5.
  • Or visit Candy Cane Lane in Roseville on Saturday, December 10th to get photos with both Santa and the Grinch. $20 Photos support rescued pets.

Grinch Pancakes:

About “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas

CTC brings back Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This is the 10th time CTC has produced this show since 1994. It also marks the fifth time CTC Company Member Reed Sigmund played the character of The GrinchCTC Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius directs the production, with choreography by Linda Talcott Lee and music by Mel Marvin.

A miserly and miserable, ever-so-cantankerous Grinch has observed the despicable Christmas joy of the Whos with disdain, from a distance, for decades. Enough! In this favorite holiday story, filled with music and Seussian rhymes, he conceives a dastardly plot to destroy the holiday they love. It’s the smallest of the Whos, tiny Cindy Lou, who extends a hand. Through the combination of kindness and community, we witness not only a change in the course of Who-History, but the size and capacity of the cantankerous Grinch’s heart.

“Since the moment I applied that first dab of green makeup, ten years ago, The Grinch has been my absolute favorite role to portray,” said Reed Sigmund. “It’s a character that’s endlessly rich with opportunities to dynamically explore the full spectrum of human emotions. And I love stories of transformation. This story reminds us that fear and hate are easy, but difficult growth and change are more rewarding for ourselves and our communities. Plus, it comes at a time of year when I get to pound gallons of Christmas cookies. This is a show I can’t wait to celebrate once more.”

Details and Information

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas runs November 8, 2022, through January 8, 2023 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage

  • Based on the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
    • Book and lyrics by Timothy Mason
    • Music by Mel Marvin
    • Directed by Peter C. Brosius
    • Choreography by Linda Talcott Lee
  • Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the ticket office at 612.874.0400.
  • Best enjoyed by all ages. Lap passes available for children 3 years and younger.
  • Runtime: Two hours with one 15-minute intermission.

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