Carmel Valley actress stars in ‘Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ for the third year

What started as a holiday tradition for Taylor Coleman and her family has since become an annual acting gig for the young Carmel Valley actress.

For the third year, Taylor is starring as Cindy-Lou Who in The Old Globe’s 18th annual production of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Based on the classic Dr. Seuss book, the show started Nov. 7.

“It’s just fun to be in,” said 9-year-old Taylor.

A fourth grader at Sage Canyon Elementary School, Taylor made her theatrical debut as Cindy-Lou Who in the musical in 2013. To prepare for her first theater audition, the then-7-year-old learned “Rainbow Connection,” a song featured in “The Muppet Movie.”

Taylor said she is thrilled to return to Whoville for a third time.

“I like that Cindy-Lou Who is so sweet,” she said. “She tries to make the Grinch happy and she doesn’t give up trying.”

Since her stage debut, Taylor has had other roles, including Minnie Oakley in San Diego Musical Theatre’s “Annie Get Your Gun.” Most recently she played Young Fiona in “Shrek The Musical” and Gracie Shinn in “The Music Man,” both produced by Moonlight Stage Productions.

“I like being on stage and making people laugh sometimes with the lines that I get,” Taylor said. “I like telling a story.”

In addition to acting, Taylor dances with Royal Academy of Performing Arts and studies voice at NC Studios. A competitive gymnast since she was 6, she also continues to compete for SoCal TTC in Poway.

With many talents, Taylor wants to be a singer or a veterinarian when she grows up. She enjoys the spotlight on stage, and Cindy-Lou Who has been her favorite role.

“We would go to the show once a year, before Thanksgiving, as a family,” explained Taylor’s mother, Karen Coleman. “ We thought she should audition. It was her first audition and her first show, and she fell in love with acting. Three years later, it’s like we’re in the Whoville family.”

Directed by James Vásquez with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin, the musical runs through Dec. 26 on the theater’s Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage. The family-friendly show features the songs “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze)” and “Santa for a Day,” Taylor’s solo.

This year The Old Globe will once again offer a sensory-friendly performance of the show at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 12. Following successful performances the past three years, the production is intended for children on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as other families with special needs. The production will have fewer loud noises and flashing lights, among other slight adjustments for a more enjoyable experience for children with autism and other sensitivity issues.

“It’s so special and so well done,” Coleman said about the show. “It makes you feel so warm and fuzzy.”

The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way.

Tickets start at $37 for adults and $24 for children 17 years and younger.

To purchase tickets, call 619-23-GLOBE or visit www.theoldglobe.org.

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