Thursday, November 09, 2006

Grinch Roundup

So the Grinch opened on Broadway ... and the opinions are in: Lukewarm ...

Clive Barnes for the New York Post gives the show one and a half stars out of four and writes that "Still, the show's intermissionless 80 minutes should prove easy on a child's attention span, and harmless, with a book and lyrics by Timothy Mason that are only a little worse than that seductively magical Seuss doggerel verse. The performances of the happy Who inhabitants from Whoville, from whom the long-fingered, small-hearted Grinch intended to steal Christmas, are all adequately charming or charmingly adequate."

For Newsday, Linda Winer writes that ""Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Musical" - yes, that's the graceless title - began its first Broadway holiday engagement at the roomy Hilton Theatre last night. One cannot imagine that New Yorkers and tourists will be clamoring to make this an annual holiday ritual."

Joe Dziemianowicz for the NY Daily News writes that "The production's chief asset is its design, inspired by the book's illustrations, which were done only in shades of black, white and red. Robert Morgan's eye-popping white, pink and red costumes are pure whimsy, head to toe. (If some curlicues on Whowear look like bull's-eyes, it may have to do with the show's sponsor - Target. Who knows?) John Lee Beatty's sets of Who homes, the Grinch's lair and Whoville from a distance are just as ingenious. The show's most high-flying effect creates the Grinch's late-night sleigh ride with reluctant "reindeer" Max. Such a fun, theatrical moment makes the show a real Whoot."

For the Associated Press, Michael Kuchwara writes that "The green meanie has all the fun, but then he is the most entertaining thing about the show with an impossibly long title: "Dr. Seuss- How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Musical." The production is brief, less than 90 minutes, and appetizing to look at since set designer John Lee Beatty's wonderful Who-ville houses resemble gigantic ice-cream sundaes. But because of some ho-hum new songs, it's also a bit bland except when the Grinch, a deliciously dyspeptic fellow with green fur, is front and center."

For Variety, Mark Blankenship writes that "Considering that the Hilton Theater lobby is bursting with tie-in merchandise, it's ironic that "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical" retains the book's moral that Christmas isn't about presents at all. However, this is hardly the first show to profit from the idea that materialism is wrong, and as mixed messages go, it's entertaining. Buoyed by gorgeous design and a saucy star turn from Patrick Page, "The Grinch" likely will satisfy family crowds in search of holiday spectacle."

For the New York Times, Charles Isherwood writes that "At about 90 minutes the stage version suffers from a milder case of bloat. A tale that fit neatly into 26 televised minutes - to say nothing of a couple hundred lines of rhymed verse - inevitably feels protracted at thrice the length. It is considerably more faithful to the spirit and letter of the original material than the movie was, however, and so more pleasing."

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Community Theater in the Mid Hudson Valley of New York. Information on shows, auditions, and our general adventures onstage, backstage and in the audience.