This year’s Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at The Old Globe, is not only bringing the green meanie back to live theatre but also features a Grinch that will not only steal Christmas but your heart as well. Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is playing at The Old Globe through December 31st.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has long been a holiday tradition in San Diego (this is its 24th year after all) and every Grinch has been good at being bad. This year, however, Andrew Polec takes on the title role with a seemingly elastic physicality and expansive vocal range. An astonishing amount of energy and the undeniable feeling that he is having fun makes his fuzzy green plotting, preening, prima donna the goofiest and most engaging cartoon evildoer come to life.
Not only did he have adults giggling, but to say that he captured the hearts of kids of all ages in the audience as well would be an understatement. The little girl in front of me danced in her seat, leaned forward to watch him onstage, and whenever he left the stage she would giggle and say “he’s so silly!” At curtain call, I saw one adult across the theatre hold up their child and sway so the kid could see the performers and applaud enthusiastically.
No matter how good the title character though, they cannot do it alone and Polec finds himself surrounded by talented performers who create the rest of the beloved characters. Tommy Martinez as young Max is adorable and sweet, truly the perfect pup. John Treacy Egan as Old Max happily reminisces as he narrates the story for the audience. Larry Raben, Bets Malone, Christopher M. Ramirez, and Ariella Kvashny are the delightfully zany Who adults of the main family. Leila Manuel is sweet and serene as Cindy-Lou Who (played in alternating performances by Sophia Adajar). Leo Ebanks, Kyrsten Hafso Koppman, Patricia Jewel, Corey Jones, Bibi Mama, and Lance Arthur Smith form the rest of the talented ensemble.
Directed by James Vásquez, he finds the right balance of the Grinches antics, growls, and surly audience interaction to keep the show from ever getting too sticky-sweet. Musical Director Elan McMahan leads the orchestra through the score that will have you singing along to “You’re AMean One, Mr.Grinch” in the audience, and you’ll probably be humming “Foh Who Doraze” as you walk back to the car.
How to get tickets
DR. Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! performance schedule varies; ticket and showtimes are available online at www.TheOldGlobe.org or by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623). Regular ticket prices start at $29, and children (17 years and under) ticket prices start at $19.
All patrons will be required to wear masks the entire time they are in the theatre. All attendees are required to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present proof of vaccination or provide proof of the negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering the theatre. For all patrons under the age of 12, whose age does not yet permit vaccination, we recommend taking a COVID-19 PCR or antigen (“rapid”) test before attending the Globe to ensure they are healthy and free of COVID-19. All performances will welcome children ages three and up. Children under the age of three (including babes in arms) will not be admitted into the theatre.
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