He's a Mean One! Old Globe's Grinch, With Steve Blanchard, Steve Gunderson, Jason Edward Cook, Opens Nov. 23
By Kenneth Jones
The Old Globe's 15th annual production of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in San Diego, starring Steve Blanchard (Broadway's Beauty and the Beast) as the green villain who tries to rob Whoville of Christmas, opens Nov. 23 following previews from Nov. 17.
Performances play to Dec. 29 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre.
The Grinch — with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin — is directed by James Vásquez. The original production of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was conceived and directed by Jack O'Brien. The show has additional lyrics by Theodor S. Geisel, additional music by Albert Hague and original choreography by John DeLuca.
Alternating in the role of Cindy-Lou Who are Caitlin McAuliffe (repeating her work from last year) of Poway, CA, and Lilith Freund of University City, CA. The cast also includes Steve Gunderson (Off-Broadway's Forever Plaid), returning as Old Max for his 10th appearance in The Grinch at the Globe; Jason Edward Cook (Off-Broadway's With Glee) as Young Max; plus Geno Carr (Papa Who), Kelsey Venter (Mama Who), Phil Johnson (Grandpa Who), Amanda Naughton (Grandma Who), Annie Buckley and Kaitlyn O'Leary (Annie Who), Sydney Rose Horowitz and Madison Pyle (Betty-Lou Who), Dylan Nalbandian and Jordi Bertran (Boo Who) and Aaron Acosta and Liam James Brandt (Danny Who) with Luke Babbitt, Ava Marie Bunn, Jacob Caltrider, Nancy Snow Carr, Kevin Davison, Sophia Dimmick, Randall Dodge, Katrina Heil, Brooke Henderson, Kyle J. Jackson, Gabi Leibowitz, Alison Grace Norwood, Carly Nykanen, Allison Spratt Pearce, Avalon Robbins and Maxine Sutton (Ensemble).
This season's production has musical direction by Charlie Reuter, additional choreography by Bob Richard and restaged choreography by James Vásquez. The Grinch creative team also includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Robert Morgan (costume design), Pat Collins (lighting design), Paul Peterson (sound design), Anita Ruth (orchestrator), Joshua Rosenblum (vocal arrangements and incidental music), David Krane (dance music arranger) and Leila Knox (stage manager).
For tickets and information, visit TheOldGlobe.org.
The Old Globe will offer an autism-friendly performance of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on Dec. 15 at 10:30 AM. Following in the footsteps of successful autism-friendly performances of The Lion King and Mary Poppins on Broadway, The Grinch will be performed "in a friendly and supportive environment for children on the autism spectrum and their families."
Slight adjustments will be made to the production including fewer loud noises and flashing lights that may be challenging for some audience members. Additional features will also help make the experience safer and more enjoyable for children with autism and other sensitivity issues, including a pre-show visit to the Globe to familiarize children with the theatre; an online social story available to view and print at home that will outline in words and pictures the experience of a visit to the Globe; a quiet area in the lobby of the theatre; and on-site volunteers to assist families as needed.
Theatre Development Fund's (TDF) Autism Theatre Initiative serves as an advisor for The Old Globe's autism-friendly Grinch performance.
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