Grinch May Reopen Prior to Thanksgiving; Union Not Picketing St. James

By Andrew Gans
and Zachary Pincus-Roth
19 Nov 2007

Patrick Page is The Grinch.
Patrick Page is The Grinch.
Photo by Paul Kolnik

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the first show that was affected by the strike, may open its doors as early as Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Grinch general manager David Waggett told Playbill.com Nov. 19 that picket lines have come down in front of the St. James Theatre, where Grinch makes its home, and Local One has agreed to work the show. However, the producers of Grinch still need to gain approval from Jujamcyn Theaters, who own the St. James.

On Nov. 18, the League of American Theatres and Producers canceled most Broadway shows — including The Grinch —through Sunday, Nov. 25.

The reason Grinch may be able to reopen is the production negotiated its own contract with Local One, the stagehands union, prior to the strike because the musical offers 12 or so performances a week, different from the eight performance schedule most other shows offer.



While the League's contract with the stagehands expired in July, Grinch began negotiating its own contract with the stagehands in the spring, came to an agreement Aug. 30, and executed it a few weeks later, Grinch general manager Waggett recently told Playbill.com. Therefore, he says, "Our point of view is that our contract is, in fact, still in effect," but the stagehands still decided to include the show in its strike.

The return Broadway engagement of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – The Musical, starring Patrick Page as the grumpy hermit whose heart is "two sizes too small," began previews at the St. James Nov. 1 and officially opened Nov. 9. On Nov. 10, the 11 AM performance of The Grinch was shuttered: the first casualty of the strike.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! — The Musical, according to press notes, is narrated by Max the Dog, who relates "the Grinch's fiendish plan to steal Christmas from the holiday-loving Whos. However, the Grinch soon discovers there's more to Christmas than he bargained for." The show includes the songs "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome, Christmas," which are heard in the animated version of the Seuss classic, which is aired annually on television. Broadway composer Albert Hague (Plain and Fancy, Redhead) penned the music to the TV songs, which had lyrics by Seuss.

The limited run of The Grinch is scheduled to conclude Jan. 6, 2008.

The St. James Theatre is located in Manhattan at 246 West 44th Street. For more information visit www.grinchmusical.com.