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A familiar green villain is currently back in theaters, reimagined in Universal and Illumination’s animated picture, THE GRINCH. But that’s not the only place to see the tale come to life as Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical brings magic to the stage in select cities for 2018. Madison Square Garden’s touring production is the big one, featuring Tony-nominated Gavin Lee (SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical, Mary Poppins) in the lead role as The Grinch. Kicking off at The Chicago Theatre (November 16-25) before heading off to Boston and New York, my family and I were guests at the opening night performance in Chicago as holiday cheer took hold to a sold-out crowd.

The Grinch

By now, most audiences are familiar with the tale – with generations split on where they first heard it. Whether the 1957 book, the 1966 animated special or the 2000 live-action film starring Jim Carrey, the general outline is the same – a lonely outcast looks upon the village of Who-Ville with disdain for all the happy Whos who celebrate Christmas without him. 

The Grinch

While the background on why the Grinch became The Grinch varies a bit between each adaptation, The Musical focuses its energy on the now – dropping the weight and keeping things festive. Lee is fantastic, inhabiting the fur with ease and making you believe that he truly is The Grinch. Most impressive is how the old and new come together seamlessly to combine elements of the animated special and live-action tellings with flourishes that could only work when applied to the live stage. 

For friends in Chicago, do try to catch How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Chicago Theatre if you can. It’s one of my favorite venues, and I can’t think of a better place to usher in the holiday season than on State Street!

Tickets available now through MSG, Ticketmaster and The Chicago Theatre Box Office. Not in Chicago? Check out to find a production near you!

The Grinch

Production Photos by Jordan Bush. 

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