{Review} How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.

We had so much fun at the Grinch Musical last night! Honestly, I didn’t even think that we’d go. I got an invitation to attend on media night. And a zillion thoughts ran through my head. Should I invite my sister-in-law? My niece? She loves musicals. My own 9-year-old is a little too cool for school lately, and usually not interested in hanging out with me.

But, I asked him first. And he was very enthusiastic about going!

Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical

I gave him several opportunities to back out. Mostly because last year, I took him to the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall, and he was really very “meh” about it. But every time I said, “I won’t be upset if you change your mind,” he insisted that he still wanted to go.

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So we went.

Side note: Dr. Seuss racist? I’m just throwing this out there because it exists. But it has been brought to my attention that Dr. Seuss has a racist past. I point this out in case you wish to reconsider or discuss it with your kids. More information and resources can be found by clicking that link.

Getting to The Merriam Theater

The weather cooperated and I don’t mind driving into the city. For theater shows, I usually park at The Bellevue which is consistently $32 for an evening of parking. But, it’s like half a block from the theaters and I always appreciate that when a show is over. We did a quick pop-in to Macy’s (will always be Wanamaker’s to me!) to see the Christmas light show.

Where to eat near Avenue of the Arts

There are a zillion places to eat in every price range. Depending on my mood, I may even walk up to the Reading Terminal Market. But, we didn’t have time for that. We chose McGillin’s. I love their decor and the history of the place. Plus, the prices are decent. Last night, Brian actually disliked his first choice (the meatball sub) and ordered a second meal. (No, I’m not a super lenient parent, he has ARFID.) But the waitress did not charge us for the second entree despite me protesting and saying I would. I thought that was super cool of them. So dinner for two was only $31.

The Grinch Musical Pre-Show Festivities

Because it was opening night, we were treated to some extra special pre-show festivities. Apparently, SEPTA employees had a bus decorating contest. They decorate out-of-use busses and the winning Grinch bus was there. That team definitely deserved to win.

grinch bus

We also were given green Grinch hats, which was fun. Brian even wore his most of the night, which I thought was cute. I thought he was too grown up for that kind of stuff.

Review of The Grinch Musical

The show itself is very good. I had read reviews that this Grinch (Phillip Huffman) was spectacular, and he didn’t disappoint.

The stage and set were amazing. They kept the simplicity of the traditional Seuss “look” that he had in his books. But at the same time, added lighting, colors, and effects that made it more modern-day and enjoyable.

I had to double check the Who attire. For the purposes of the show, it’s an all white, red and pink theme. And super cute!

I went into this show expecting just a longer version of the TV special but it’s not. It follows the storyline and characters, but that’s about it. There were a few times that an actor recited lines from the book, but not many. That doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, quite the opposite.

The little actress (Fiona Quinn) who plays Cindy Lou Who has quite a voice! Wait until you hear her sing.

Max the Dog has been reinvented and the story is told from the point of view of an “Old Max” looking back on his life with The Grinch.

grinch and cindy lou who

The Grinch Musical- a little too long!

I was pleased to learn that the show was not just a live remake of the TV special. That being said, the TV special is only 26 minutes and this show was around 90 minutes. At a few points, it felt like it dragged and some scenes could have been shortened. I think that only bothered me, as I asked Brian about it on the way home and he did not agree with me. Also, the audience was filled with kids who were eagerly participating and calling out during the show, so I don’t think it bothered them either.

Around the middle of the show, they invite the audience to sing along with “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and they provide the words. Brian really enjoyed that.

Smaller kids might find this a bit too long. That kind of puts parents in an odd spot, because preschoolers tend to love Dr. Seuss, but may not be able to sit through a 90-minute show.

Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical

Grinch Swag

In the lobby, you’ll find a little bit of swag. I bought a t-shirt ($25) for Kevin, with Max on the front. He’s wearing it to school today. They also had little light up heart necklaces ($10) but I passed on that. Now I regret it because I think Kevin would like it.

Please note: Since the original publication of this, yes, I have been made aware of Dr. Seuss Racism and Racist Drawings. I am no longer promoting Dr. Seuss stuff on this site, but am leaving this review stand because it’s not a very great review anyway.

{I was compensated for this post in the form of two tickets to the Musical. All opinions are my own.}

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