Who likes Christmas? Who likes the Grinch? Everyone who attends The Old Globe's 12th production of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" — that's Who!
The delightful show, which runs through Dec. 27, is based on the classic holiday book and gets more magical every year.
Directed by Benjamin Endsley Klein, with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin, this show has all the favorite elements audiences have adored in past performances, plus a few new surprises to keep it fresh.
The funny-looking people of Whoville bring laughs and smirks in their whimsical costumes designed by Robert Morgan. From the amusing lampshade-looking attire on the women, to the men's outfits that appear as upside down teapots, it's a new silly scene every moment. It's hard to keep an eye on all the antics going on while watching the Whos' curled-up toes or checking out the stiff spikes in their hairdos.
Of course, the charming Cindy Lou Who (Shea Starrs Siben — alternate nights Anna Bahen), dressed in an adorable sheer dress with curly locks down her back, steals the show. The 6-year-old Siben stunned Globe patrons each time she sang solos with perfect pitch, and an amazing stage presence as if she had performed the role many times before.
Also a big hit is, of course, Max the dog. Logan Lipton played the happy puppy last year and his performance is so natural with his little yelps, his rollovers and general flapping around the stage. It's older Max (Martin Van Treuren) who narrates a lot of the story as he recalls his days as the young puppy. Treuren, who played the role in 2007 and '08, can wag with the best of them.
Little folks become wide-eyed when the mean old Grinch (Jeff Skowron) slinks on stage to sing "I Hate Christmas." Luckily there are plenty of happy songs — "It's the Thought that Counts," "Now's the Time" to keep everyone in a good mood. And when Cindy Lou Who sings "Santa for a Day" not only do playgoers' hearts melt, so does the Grinch's. Skowron turns in a one-of –a-kind performance as the green creature with the Santa hat. He owns that role from beginning to end with an amazing enthusiasm.
The incredible music, the characters streaming on and off stage in the aisles, and the wet snow that falls on part of the audience are sensational elements that complete the perfection of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" Whether seeing it for the 12th time or the first, the audiences' eyes tell the truth about this show — it's pure magic.
'Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!'
When: Through Dec. 27
Where: The Old Globe Theatre, Balboa Park
Family Day: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 20. Pre- and post-show photos with the Grinch, refreshments and activities.