Entertainment » Theatre

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

by Clinton Campbell
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Dec 3, 2018
A scene from "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," currently touring US cities through December 30.
A scene from "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," currently touring US cities through December 30.  

Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" has become part of many a holiday tradition since its original publication in 1957. It is a simple, charming story critical of the commercialization of Christmas. The 1966 television cartoon version only solidified its presence in our cultural conscience with its charming score and distinctive theme song.

So what happened to that sweet little story that brings back memories of snowy nights of families sitting around the television under the glow of the Christmas tree?

Well, look no further than the monstrosity of a musical currently visiting Boston at the Boch Center's Wang Theater. While originally developed in 1998, it did not make it to Broadway until 2008. Probably due to the popularity of the equally ham-handed 2000 live action movie starring Jim Carry. It has been touring annually since 2010.

It is loud, boorish, and as subtle as a train wreck. It ignores all the simplicity of the original work and replaces it with 90-minutes of Vegas style flash in place of any actual emotion. Even the talents of multi-Tony nominated Gavin Lee in the scenery-chewing title role cannot salvage this mess.

Inexplicably the Whos down in Whoville are materialistic, obsessed Christmas shoppers and their children are rowdy, loud, and ill mannered.

The volume is set to its highest setting throughout and special effects are used liberally. (Don't forget to hit the gift shop on the way out.)

Anyone with a family member needing a sensory-friendly performance, this is the last show you should consider.

It's sad, yet oddly poetic, that one of our treasured stories condemning the commercialization of Christmas should fall victim to such a blatantly commercialistic production.

"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" continues through December 9 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. For more dates on the musical's tour and ticket information, visit the show's website.

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