Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical – An Atlanta Theater Fans Review

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Stefan Karl as The Grinch with Seth Bazacas as Young Max. Photo by http://paparazzibyappointment.com

What a Grinch!

He’s mean, he’s green, and he’s stealing the show in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the Fabulous Fox Theatre this week. Dr. Seuss’ beloved villain of all things Christmas has been given yet another incarnation—this time in a full length musical.

With book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin this production gives the audience a fun, entertaining story that falls somewhere happily in the middle of the original book, the classic cartoon, and the newest film version.

The narrative voice of the story is provided by an older Max—the Grinch’s faithful dog. Bob Lauder does a wonderful job moving the plot along with his compelling voice and loveable characterization. Max’s younger self, played perfectly by Seth Bazacas, is an adorable pup who gets a chance to both speak and sing—a feat I’m sure the original dog would’ve given his right paw for the chance to explore.

Matt August directs a show as bright as a strand of Christmas lights. The Citizens of Whoville fill the stage with colorful energy, from their very Seuss-inspired costumes to their lively musical numbers. Cindy-Lou Who (played by Bailey Ryon and Clara Young) tugs at the heart-strings in all the right ways. There are lots of audience treats throughout the show as well, and the quick pace—a 90 minute performance without an intermission—keeps both children and adults engaged.

But there would be no Christmas to steal without a Grinch, and this musical doesn’t disappoint. Stefan Karl adds his own unique style to the role, and his talent shines through all the hair and makeup with astounding ease. Whether he’s heckling the audience, engaging in slapstick routines with Max, or causing general bedlam among the Whos in town, Karl’s Grinch never fails to draw laughs, smiles, and applause throughout the show.

An audience favorite is the number “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” which is staged as a trio with Old Max (Lauder), Young Max (Bazacas), and the Grinch (Karl), and then takes a fun twist as the crowd is invited to sing along.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, and it’s an evening your entire family will enjoy.

Performances run November 29 to December 4 at the Fox Theatre. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is part of the Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta Series. Tickets are available at the Fox Theatre box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and online at Ticketmaster’s website.

– Christi Whitney