Review of Altria’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

by | Dec 13, 2023 | Arts and Entertainment

By Stephen Hu for Fredericksburg Today

It can be difficult to find a satisfying musical for children but the latest offering from the Broadway In Richmond series How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical provides an entertaining evening for adults and kids.

Loosely adapted from the 1957 Dr. Suess book of the same name, the musical version includes songs from the beloved 1966 animated TV special and additional songs that tell the story of the hard-hearted Grinch and his evil plot to thwart Christmas. Originally conceived in childrens’ theater productions in Minneapolis and San Diego in the 1990’s, the current version was brought to Broadway in 2006 where it was wildly popular and has been touring ever since.

The narrator of the story is The Grinch’s faithful but conflicted dog Max in his older years, played by Bob Lauder who looks back on his younger self played by Alberto Luis Blanco O.V. Both actors do a great job of portraying the playful pup. The Whos in Whoville have fanciful costumes and hair that evokes the magical world of Dr. Suess. Cindy-Lou Who, played alternately by Trinity Vittoria DeVito and Vivan Atencio, is a show stealer. The main character of The Grinch is played to perfection by Anthony Cataldo, who even does the pre-show announcement to silence phones in character. His brash showmanship comes to a climax with the Vegas style number “One of a Kind”. A scene unique to the musical version where The Grinch and Max do a spy mission to Whoville is hilarious. The best known song from the TV special, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” is sung by the older Max and even has an audience singalong in the last verse complete with lyric prompts on stage.

The other original songs for the musical help fill out the plot and have some excellent choreography for the Whos characters. There is a funny self aware moment when the Grinch introduces Cindy-Lou Who’s song “Santa For A Day” saying, “oh no, a ballad!”

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is on a limited run at the Altria Theater in Richmond through this Sunday, December 17th.

James Schultz as the Grinch and the touring company of Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical!

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