Wednesday, January 03, 2007
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
This corporate-sponsored stage version of the Dr. Seuss classic is just over an hour long: it's Broadway's most expensive ticket per minute. En route to our seats to learn that the commercialism of Christmas is bad, I had to run a pricey gauntlet of souvenir-pushers from both sides. And yet, I can't say this Grinch picked my pocket: the production is fantastic, with some sensational special effects and flat-out wonderful costumes and sets that feel genuinely Seussian and stageworthy. I'll take the Grinch's sleigh ride and snowfall over the Chitty car or Mary's umbrella glide anyday! The biggest Christmas surprise is Patrick Paige's sardonic and hilarious performance as the Grinch: he hams it up spectacularly, growling at the tots in the first rows but always in the spirit of fun. When he fools little Cindy Lou Who and says "I'm Santy Claus, darling!", he does it as if he's Tallulah Bankhead - who could possibly resist that?