By Kristina Houck
Even though the Grinch’s small heart grows three sizes, Taylor Coleman used to be afraid of the furry green character.
Now, she’s starring as Cindy Lou Who in The Old Globe’s 16th annual production of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
“He was so green,” said 7-year-old Taylor, a second grade student at Sage Canyon School. She and Gabriella Dimmick of La Mesa are alternating in the role. “I’m not afraid of him anymore.”
Based on the classic Dr. Seuss book, the show kicked off Nov. 16.
Taylor is one of two Carmel Valley girls cast in the musical. Katelyn Katz, an 11-year-old sixth grader at Sage Canyon School, is in the Little Who ensemble.
“I love the Grinch and I’ve seen the show at The Old Globe for years,” Katelyn said. “Whether I’m watching it from the audience or watching from backstage, I always have a smile on my face. It never gets old. Every year it’s awesome.”
Most recently seen as Brigitta in San Diego Musical Theatre’s “The Sound of Music,” Katelyn has been acting since she was 5 years old. Her theater credits include “Annie,” “Hairspray” and “The Wizard of Oz,” among others. This spring, she will portray Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird” in her New Village Arts Theatre debut.
“The thrill of being on stage is always fun,” said Katelyn, who enjoys tap dancing, singing, reading and spending time with friends. “Knowing that you’re telling a story for other people and that they’re coming to see the story that you’re telling is always really fun.”
Unlike Katelyn, Taylor does not have a background in theater. Although the production marks her theater debut, she’s not a stranger to the stage.
Every week, Taylor spends 12 hours training as a level four competitive gymnast with TRC South Gymnastics. A competitor since she was 6 years old, Taylor has already won a number of medals, including fourth place at the 2012 Southern California gymnastics state meet. In addition, she studies tap, lyrical and ballet at Francine Garton’s Royal Dance Academy in Carmel Valley.
To prepare for her first theater audition, Taylor learned “Rainbow Connection,” a song featured in “The Muppet Movie.”
“She wasn’t nervous when she auditioned,” said Taylor’s mother, Karen Coleman. “My husband and I were basket cases sitting on the couch when she went in the room. We had no idea what she would do. She seemed very calm and very collected. I think all the dance training and gymnastics competitions played a huge part in her confidence.”
Directed by James Vasquez with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin, the show runs through Dec. 28 on the theater’s Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage.
“You just have a smile on your face from the moment the show starts,” Karen Coleman said. “The show is so well done. It’s so professional. It just really kicks off the holiday season.”
“It’s a really, really fun show to see with your friends and family,” Katelyn said. “It’s a really good holiday show.”
The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way.
Tickets start at $24 for children and
$37 for adults.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call 619-234-5623 or visit