By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for SouthFloridaReporter.com, Dec. 17, 2015 – The tour of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a reliable litmus test of just how deep into or disaffected you are with the holiday spirit.
This definitively children’s musical with a few sugar plum crumbs thrown to the adults in tow will likely increase the cheery level of those already in a cheery mood and do little to make merry those fighting the holiday blahs. It’s not remotely as effective as It’s A Wonderful Life.
But the cheering of children on opening night at the Broward Center, the sound of their parents and grandparents fearlessly joining in the sing-along of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and the pep of the crew onstage reinforced that the seasonal tour was indeed delivering some holiday merriment to the multi-generational crowd.
Still, sometimes, it’s a risk when Broadway folks color in with three dimensions and a full palette all the details that were only sketched in like Seuss’ original black-and-white pen drawings; you could fill out the tale with your own imagination in the 1957 book and even the 1966 televised cartoon. So when producers provide live people in funny costumes, no matter how skilled they are, the incarnation robs the original of some of its magic.