Thursday, November 09, 2006

Grinches Are Few Among Critics

Grinches Are Few Among Critics

Last evening, Broadway's holiday offering of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! opened at the Hilton Theatre. Judging from most of the critical reaction, it looks to be a hit. The musical will run through January 7, 2007.

Calling the show "a real Whoot," Joe Dziemianowicz of New York's Daily News, notes that, "The musical...expands the story a bit and manages to maintain much of its humor and pathos. At about 70 minutes, it's also kid-friendly....In a green shag-carpet body suit and matching makeup, Patrick Page is a great Grinch. He plays it with just enough bark and bite."

Confessing that The Grinch is a "beloved cultural touchstone' for himself and an entire generation, The New York Times' Charles Isherwood provides a mostly positive review: "A tale that fit neatly into 26 televised minutes -- to say nothing of a couple hundred lines of rhymed verse -- inevitably feels protracted at thrice the length. It is considerably more faithful to the spirit and letter of the original material than the movie was, however, and so more pleasing....The lively whole seemed to please the legions of critics in the audience who really matter here, the 10-and-unders, who hardly stirred in their seats during those 90 minutes."

Despite a warning that those who are searching for a "memorable book and songs will be disappointed," Variety's David Rooney remains upbeat: "[I]t's entertaining. Buoyed by gorgeous design and a saucy star turn from Patrick Page, The Grinch likely will satisfy family crowds in search of holiday spectacle."

Slamming the show's sponsorship by mega-retailer Target as "one extended subliminal plug," Clive Barnes of New York Post offers up a one-and-a-half star review: "Mel Marvin's characterless music sounds bland enough to give modesty a bad name....Still, the show's intermissionless 80 minutes should prove easy on a child's attention span, and harmless, with a book and lyrics by Timothy Mason that are only a little worse than that seductively magical Seuss doggerel verse."

Notwithstanding the real or imagined Target product placement or Barnes' dismissive review, expect this Grinch to rake in the green this holiday season. Perhaps it may also steal many young audience members' hearts.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Grinch Brings Early Christmas To Broadway (November 8, 2006)
Which Broadway Musical Will Depart Next? (August 21, 2006)

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