The family-friendly 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.
The following morning, Nov. 10, the 11 AM performance of The Grinch was shuttered: It was the first casualty of the stagehands strike that would last 19 days.
Grinch producers later argued that the production should be able to reopen because they had negotiated their own contract with Local One prior to the strike. The separate contract was required because the musical offers 12-to-15 performances a week, different from the eight-performance schedule most other shows employ.
On Nov. 21 Judge Helen E. Freedman granted an injunction filed by the Grinch producers to allow the much-in-the-news musical to reopen at the St. James Nov. 25, and it did. Jujamcyn, which owns the St. James, planned to appeal the decision, but the motion was tabled until Nov. 27. The theatre owners then decided not to appeal; the strike officially ended Nov. 28.
The Grinch cast also features Ed Dixon as Old Max, Rusty Ross as Young Max, Darin DePaul as Grandpa Seth Who, Aaron Galligan-Stierle as JP Who, Tari Kelly as Mama Who, Caroline London as Cindy Lou Who, Jan Neuberger as Grandma Who and Athena Ripka as Cindy Lou Who. The Citizens of Whoville include Jahaan Amin, Juliette Allen Angelo, Hunter Bell, Janet Dickinson, Sky Flaherty, Eamon Foley, Sami Gayle, Brianna Gentilella, Amy Griffin, Joseph Harrington, Michael Hoey, Carly Hughes, Kurt Kelly, Liesl Jaye, Jess Le Protto, Marina Micalizzi, Katie Micha, Jillian Mueller, Andy Richardson, Josephine Rose Roberts, William Ryall, Jordan Samuels, Johnny Schaffer, Jeff Skowron, Tianna Jane Stevens, Heather Tepe and Janelle Viscomi.
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.
Running Subway Productions and Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien presented the second Broadway engagement of the holiday-hating Grinch. The musical runs approximately 90 minutes.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The Musical was presented at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre under the direction of Jack O'Brien with choreography by John DeLuca. It has played to critical acclaim and sold-out houses for the past decade. In fact, the Globe presented its 10th anniversary production of The Grinch Nov. 25-Dec. 30, 2007.
Matt August again directed the Broadway run with choreography by John DeLuca. The creative team also included Bob Richard (co-choreographer), John Lee Beatty (scenic designer, whose set is new for this engagement), Pat Collins (lighting designer), Robert Morgan (costume designer), Michael Curry (puppetry), Joshua Rosenblum (musical director and vocal arranger), Acme Sound Partners (sound designer), Michael Starobin (orchestrator), David Krane (dance music arranger), Gregory Meeh (special effects designer), Angelina Avallone (makeup designer) and Thomas Augustine (hair/wig designer).
The St. James Theatre is located in Manhattan at 246 West 44th Street. Tickets, priced $25-$111.50, are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com. Group tickets are on sale by calling (800) 223-7565; for more information visit www.grinchmusical.com.