Who needs A Christmas Carol? The Globe Theatres is performing Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin's musical adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas for the fifth year in a row.
This is only the second year, however, that the San Diego company will provide a little entertainment for the adults with a revival of David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries.
Now a Southern California holiday tradition, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, playing to Dec. 31 (previews began Nov. 21), retells the classic Dr. Seuss tale of a grouchy green guy (Guy Paul) who invades his neighbors' quaint little town to steal their Christmas decorations, food and gifts in order the squash their holiday spirit forever. Instead, he discovers the true meaning of giving, thanks to a little girl named Cindy Lou Who (Shannon Patrick).
The score includes three traditional Christmas carols, "The Holly & the Ivy," "Good King Wencelas" and "Deck the Halls" as well as composer Marvin and lyricist Mason's "Who Likes Christmas?," "I Hate Christmas Eve," "Watchama-who," "Last Minute Shopping," "One of a Kind," "Now's the Time ," "A Never Very Merry Christmas" and "Santa For A Day."
Seuss was the author of several children's books including "Hop on Pop," "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," and "Horton Hears a Who." The Grinch is one of Seuss' best known characters, not only from the book, but also from an animated television special, which is an annual holiday favorite, and a 2000 live action movie starring Jim Carey as the Grinch. The Grinch is all very well and good for the children, but the Globe Theatre gives a nod to their parents and their unique frustrations at "the most wonderful time of the year" with The Santaland Diaries, playing Dec. 4-24. In this one-man comedy, a Macy's elf christened Crumpet (his real name is David) goes from scoffing at a seasonal employment ad for the New York megastore to actually donning the tights and curly-toed shoes of one of Santa's helpers. Needless to say, all is not joy and light in Santa's workshop as Christmas Eve approaches.
Sedaris, known for his books of humorous musings "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and "Naked," wrote SantaLand Diaries as an essay for National Public Radio in 1992. Joe Mantello (Love! Valor! Compassion!) adapted and directed the piece for the stage.
Arnie Burton returns as David/Crumpet. His New York credits include Broadway's Amadeus and Mere Mortals, The Baltimore Waltz, King Lear, Othello and Translating Andrew. For the Globe, he's taken roles in The Seagull, All in the Timing, The Country Wife, King Lear and Julius Caesar.
Tickets are $40-$45 for Santaland Diaries, $20 to $50 for The Grinch. The Globe Theatres are located in Balboa Park. For reservations, call (619) 239 2255. The Globe Theatres are on the web at http://www.theglobetheatres.org.
— By Christine Ehren