"Welcome, Christmas": The Grinch Begins Broadway Previews Oct. 25
By Andrew Gans
Wicked's Elphaba and Avenue Q's Nicky will be joined by another green-faced character when Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – The Musical begins previews at Broadway's Hilton Theatre Oct. 25.
Patrick Page, the respected classical actor known for Broadway's The Lion King, heads the cast as the holiday-hating Grinch with Tony Award winner John Cullum as Old Max and Rusty Ross as Young Max. The company also includes Caitlin Belcik as Annie Who, Nicole Bocchi as Cindy-Lou Who, Aaron Conley as Boo Who, James Du Chateau as Danny Who, Eamon Foley as Danny Who, Kaitlin Hopkins as Mama Who, Libby Jacobson as Betty Who, Caroline London as Cindy-Lou Who, Michael McCormick as Grandpa Who, Malcolm Morano as Boo Who, Jan Neuberger as Grandma Who, Heather Tepe as Annie Who, Price Waldman as Papa Who and Brynn Williams as Betty Who.
The Little Who ensemble comprises Jahaan Amin, Kevin Csolak, Antonio D'Amato, Danielle Freid, Brianna Gentilella, Sky Jarrett, Jess Le Protto, Daniel Manche, Kate Micha, Jillian Mueller, Nikki Rose, Molly Ryan, Rafael Luis Tillis (swing), Corwin Tuggles, Kelley Rock Wiese and Lawson Young (swing), while the adult ensemble will feature Janet Dickinson, Andre Garner, Amy Griffin (swing), Kurt Kelly (swing), Josie Roberts, William Ryall, Jeff Skowron and Pearl Sun.
Grinch will officially open Nov. 8 and play through Jan. 7, 2007.
Star Page told Playbill.com that he thinks The Grinch will appeal to both children and adults alike: "The book and the cartoon were written 'for children,' [but] if 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' is on a coffee table, I dare you not to pick it up. [The musical will] appeal to adults in precisely the same way the book does and the cartoon does every year at Christmas. The Grinch is a very kind of hip character. There's a reason Jim Carrey wanted to play the Grinch [in the live-action film]. And, Seuss himself had a real sort of skewed, hip sensibility — very, very modern. Then there's just all the stage magic that adults can also appreciate. And, because Jack O'Brien created it, it comes from the perspective . . . of very sophisticated theatre people — so visually and in terms of how it sounds, it's quite sophisticated."
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 will include 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.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The Musical was originally 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 eight years.
Matt August directs the enhanced Broadway production in the cavernous Hilton, which also features Bob Richard re-creating the original choreography.
Timothy Mason wrote the book and lyrics and Mel Marvin is composer, with sets by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Robert Morgan, lighting by Pat Collins, sound by Acme Sound Partners, special effects by Gregory Meeh, orchestrations by Michael Starobin, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Joshua Rosenblum and puppetry by Michael Curry.
Running Subway Productions is producer with Live Nation as associate producer along with Dr. Seuss' widow, Audrey Geisel.
Patrick Page most recently appeared on Broadway as Scar in Disney's The Lion King. His other Broadway credits include Decius Brutus opposite Denzel Washington in Broadway's Julius Caesar and over a thousand performances as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. Page is also an active classical actor, who won Washington, D.C.'s Helen Hayes Award for playing Iago opposite Avery Brooks' Othello The Shakespeare Theatre Company, where he also played Macbeth opposite Kelly McGillis. Page is married to actress and former "Trading Spaces" host Paige Davis.
John Cullum, a two-time Tony winner for his work in Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century, has also starred on Broadway in Urinetown, Camelot, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Boys in Autumn, Hamlet, 1776, All My Sons, Show Boat and Old Money. Also a film and TV star, his screen credits include "The Secret Life of Algernon," "1776," "Sweet Country," "Hawaii," "Northern Exposure," "Law & Order" and "Touched By An Angel."
Tickets, priced $25-$99, are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.GrinchMusical.com.
The Hilton Theatre is located in Manhattan at 213 West 42nd Street.
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