Premiere issue Autumn 2002

Familiar faces, new twists in Globe's 'Grinch'

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Written by Timothy Mason
Music by Mel Marvin; Lyrics by Timothy Mason
Directed by Jack O'Brien

Old Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatres complex
Balboa Park, San Diego, Calif.
Through Dec. 31

In just four short years, the Globe Theatres' annual presentation of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" has become a beloved Southern California institution.

Globe Artistic Director Jack O'Brien, who brought the Grinch to stage in 1998 and has directed each year since, has created a sense of continuity that lends itself to tradition-making. By keeping the cast stable (several members still remain from that first production), O'Brien and the Globe give it a warm familiarity.

While the first four years featured almost no changes, this year's version of "Grinch" has a few new twists.

Imaginary Friends The best of the changes is the long-promised addition of the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from the animated television special. While the 1966 original was sung by Thurle Ravenscroft (better known as the voice of animated cereal pitchman Tony the Tiger), in the stage version the song is a duet between Old Max and Young Max.

The other major difference between previous years and this is the longer leash O'Brien gives Guy Paul as the Grinch. He plays the role a little less straight this year — still obviously enjoying the role, and finding additional fun in ad libbing asides to the audience.

Rusty Ross returns as Young Max, and he and Paul remain a formidable team. Mary Frances McClay is back for yet another run as Cindy-Lou Who — as charming a scene-stealer as ever.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif.

Autumn 2002 Theater Section | Autumn 2002 Main Page
Current Theater Section | Current Home Page