Writer: Tyrah Walker
JACKSONVILLE, Fla- It’s the holiday season and what better way to kick off December by taking your children or younger siblings to experience “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical”, showing at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Filled with laughter, audience participation and the true meaning of Christmas, this musical was an event the whole family can enjoy and an overall sensation.
For opening night, the musical was packed with families from all over the city as part of the fourteenth annual Chase Family Night on Broadway. The event occurred an hour before the musical began filled with fun-filled activities for the families to enjoy at no extra charge. Families enjoyed activities such as coloring stations, caricatures, candy crafts, face painting and a book giveaway and much more throughout the entire building. The family night was sponsored by PRI Productions, Savor Jacksonville, My Gym, Museum of Science and History (MOSH), the Jacksonville Zoo, Sweet Pete’s, JAX4Kids.com, Goodwill Industries of North Florida, and the Jacksonville Public Library.
The Grinch, played by Stefan Karl, did an astonishing job connecting with his character as well as the audience. If you’re familiar with the original cartoon that was released in 1966 or the classic film starring Jim Carrey that was released in 2000, then you know the voice of The Grinch plays a major role. Not only did Karl have the voice, he also had the humor and the brilliance that made this role a memorable one. Towards the end of the musical, Karl added audience participation and child laughter took over the auditorium. Cindy-Lou Who, played by alternating cast members Genny Gagnon and Rachel Katzke, warmed the hearts of many by their singing and charm. During the musical, the story is told in past tense based on the account of the character Old Max portrayed by Bob Lauder. Audience members will also enjoy the talents from cast members Melissa Weisbach (Mama Who), Vincent DiPeri (Papa Who), Zach Kononov (Grandpa Who), Camella Clark (Grandma Who) and of course Matt Weinstein that portrays the character of Young Max.
You can expect a few things as you watch the show such as the classic song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, laughter and a great ending message about Christmas and the joy it brings each year. “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” ran from Dec. 1-6.