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Give a ‘Grinch,’ take a smile

Everyone knows the story, but that doesn’t lessen the magic of this big, theatrical production.

Though Mr. Grinch is reputed to be "a mean one," the faces of the children in the audience at the Wang Theatre tell an entirely different tale. Their eyes widen at the first sign of the furry green menace who hates Christmas, and as his sinister plot unfolds they inch closer to the edges of their seats in eager anticipation of the transformation that saves the day.

Sure, everyone knows the story -- but there's something magical about a big, glitzy production of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!" that delights children of all ages while warming the hearts of those watching them watch.

The Seuss dialogue, delivered in impeccable rhyme, may feel light -- but the heart of the message is loud and clear. The eternally cheerful Whos of Whoville love Christmas even without excessive presents and feasts.

Part of the story's charm is the likability of the cantankerous Grinch, played to perfection by Jeff McCarthy. Looking a bit like Steven Tyler, the mean green monster works the room like an old pro: telling jokes, warbling impressively and charming the crowd with his witty repartee.

His long-suffering sidekick, Old Max, lends an air of grandfatherly charm to the production, courtesy of Ken Land's heartwarming performance, while Young Max is played with the enthusiasm of an excitable puppy by Gilbert Bailey II.

The set is a perfect blend of Seuss simplicity and musical theater schmaltz, giving the production enough razzle to dazzle any holiday revelers.

Plot points

Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of when the Grinch nearly stole Christmas from the Whos of Whoville is brought to life in a big, splashy Broadway-style production with singing, dancing and a not-so-subtle message about the true meaning of Christmas.

If you go



‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas!’

Through Dec. 9

Wang Theatre

270 Tremont St., Boston

$35-$125, 866-348-9738

www.citicenter.org

 
 
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