Regifting

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  December 12, 2008

Not that you have to listen to this Scrooge among scribblers. Conceived by Old Globe honcho Jack O'Brien, at whose San Diego theater it's in its 11th year, this stage adaptation of The Grinch broke Broadway box-office records in 2006 and 2007. And it is certainly an improvement on the 2000 Ron Howard film that starred Jim Carrey trying way too hard and saddled the Grinch with a Freudian backstory as well as a bad case of entertainment-industry elephantiasis.

Compared with that, the show on view at the Wang is a Japanese flower arrangement heavy on the holly. Moreover, towering Icelandic actor Stefán Karl's Grinch serves up a perfect plate of green ego and ham for the toddler set as he slithers down a neon-red proscenium in his green mange, brandishes his bristly fingers like knives, and makes the sort of rude noises and faces that delight small children. But for the most part, the musical is both tedious and cute, its saccharine Whos inexplicably costumed to look like ducks and waddling. Librettist/lyricist Timothy Mason's rhymes are inferior to Dr. Seuss's. And the generic score attached to the two Hague/Seuss songs by Mel Marvin smacks so much of Annie that sweet-spirited Cindy Lou Who and the suddenly sappy green hermit come to seem like the eponymous orphan and Daddy Warbucks turned the color of his cash.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: Review: The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, Play by play: July 17, 2009, Play by Play: December 4, 2009, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Music, Party on the Pole,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CAROLYN CLAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   ARTSEMERSON'S METAMORPHOSIS  |  February 28, 2013
    Gisli Örn Garðarsson’s Gregor Samsa is the best-looking bug you will ever see — more likely to give you goosebumps than make your skin crawl.
  •   CLEARING THE AIR WITH STRONG LUNGS AT NEW REP  |  February 27, 2013
    Lungs may not take your breath away, but it's an intelligent juggernaut of a comedy about sex, trust, and just how many people ought to be allowed to blow carbon into Earth's moribund atmosphere.
  •   MORMONS, MURDERERS, AND MARINERS: 10 THEATER SENSATIONS COMING TO BOSTON STAGES THIS SPRING  |  February 28, 2013
    Mitt Romney did his Mormon mission in France. But there are no baguettes or croissants to dip into the lukewarm proselytizing of bumbling elders Price and Cunningham, two young men sent by the Church of Latter-day Saints to convert the unfaithful of a Ugandan backwater in The Book of Mormon .
  •   THE HUMAN STAIN: LIFE AND DEATH IN MIDDLETOWN  |  February 22, 2013
    The New York Times dubbed Will Eno a “Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.”
  •   ZEITGEIST STAGE COMPANY'S LIFE OF RILEY  |  February 22, 2013
    Sir Alan Ayckbourn has written more than 70 plays, most of which turn on an intricate trick of chronology or geography.

 See all articles by: CAROLYN CLAY