Edward Watts (left) and Dan DeLuca in "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" at the Old Globe Theatre. Photo by Jim Cox
There’s a new Grinch in town. Edward Watts, a musical-theater veteran whose credits include everything from The Most Happy Fella to The Book of Mormon, is starring in this year’s iteration of the Old Globe Theatre’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Watts boasts a kind of James Arness presence in the part, which works especially well in the sequence in which the Grinch is donning a Western hat and telling the Who’s that he’s from “Who-ston.” (As in Houston, in case you are one of the few San Diegans who haven’t seen this long-running holiday favorite.)
By the by, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is now in its 20th year, which speaks well to the legacy of Theodor Seuss Geisel, to Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin who wrote the show’s book, lyrics and music, and to the Old Globe actors and creative artists who never take this yuletide treat for granted. It’s still undeniably fun, especially for the kiddies, but even a grown-up like me who’s seen the show eight to ten times can find plenty of reasons to laugh and enjoy.
Let’s give some overdue credit to director James Vasquez, to musical director Elan McMahan, and to some of the ensemble who’ve been doing faithful Who duty for quite a few years: Steve Gunderson, Bets Malone, Robert J. Townsend, and Nancy Snow Carr, for instance.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! runs through Christmas Eve.
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David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.