How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

Music By: Mel Marvin

Lyrics and Book by: Thomas Mason

Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a timeless classic by Dr. Seuss and one that I have read over and over again in my lifetime.  I've also watched the animated special and seen numerous attempts at a live action movie based on the book.  In 2006, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! came to Broadway in a musical format and promptly broke box office records.  It has become a favorite for the holidays all over the United States.  Masterworks Broadway recently announced the release of the original cast recording of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical on CD and digital download formats.

                How the Grinch Stole Christmas! tells the story of the Grinch, a grouchy individual who lives alone with his beleaguered dog Max in a cave somewhere high above Whoville.  The people of Whoville are a happy sort and Christmas is their favorite holiday, celebrated with a vigor that infuriates the Grinch.  He hates all the noise, the laughter, the singing and decides he must stop Christmas from coming to Whoville.  He dresses up as Santa Claus, and, with Max dressed as a reindeer, rides a sleigh into the night, vowing to take all that represents Christmas to the Whos.  But after stealing all of their gifts, food and decorations and witnessing the Whos still celebrating as heartily as ever, the Grinch learns that Christmas is more than its commercial aspects.  I've heard it said that the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day.

                The musical version of the Grinch is narrated by Max, discussing what his life with the Grinch was like when he was just a pup and bringing  us the tale of how the Grinch became what he is today.  The musical features excerpts of the Dr. Seuss book as well as some of the songs from the animated special like You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch and Welcome, Christmas.  It also features a longer look into the lives of the Whos and, in particular, Cindy Lou Who's family.  The Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical cast recording album also features two bonus songs, Where Are You, Christmas? from the 2000 film and Once in a Year, a song cut from the musical before its debut.

                Having enjoyed the book and the animated special, but detesting the live action versions I've seen so far, I wasn't sure what to expect from this album.  But, quite honestly, I believe that Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical may be the best retelling of the story since the animated special came to television.  Full of fun songs and comical moments, the album is quite entertaining and I love that the story is narrated by Max, my favorite Grinch character.  The original cast recording of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is one of those albums that deserves playing every Christmas to get the listener into the holiday spirit, reminding them what the holiday is all about.  A great addition to anyone's holiday music collection!


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