With a heart two sizes too small – you might spot Broadway Across America’s favorite “mean one” roaming the streets of Austin just one week ahead of the six-day run of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Bass Concert Hall. Described by Gannett as a “total delight for both kids and adults” and The New York Times as “100 times better than any bedtime story,” the musical will delight crowds Dec. 6-11, including three matinee options each Saturday and Sunday. In full character, we caught up with The Grinch upon his arrival in Central Texas.
What brings you to Austin?
I’m starring in a Broadway show that’s all about ME! I live most of the year on Mt. Crumpet but come out of my cave with my dog Max and tour the country stealing Christmas every year. Then I go back and live a very simple life. And I sleep a lot. But for now, I have to pretend to enjoy working with all these Whos and people in the audience who get to watch the magnificence that is me.
What is your favorite scene in the musical?
You have to keep this between us…promise? But I turn in to a bit of a softie at the end. I meet this adorable Cindy Lou and all she wants for Christmas is a red rocking horse. Well, she sings this BALLAD to me, and I just can’t help myself. It’s too adorable for words…and then I get these chest pains…and it’s as if she’s actually made my heart grow three sizes. Some people may be in to all that…it’s very sweet. You’ll just have to come to the show to see how it all ends.
Why should people stop by to see you at Bass Concert Hall?
Well, the best part of this show is that it’s all about MEEEEEEE. So, audiences will see a lot of me, and people singing about ME, and ME singing about ME. There’s that little ditty they sing about me…you know the one. EVERYONE knows the one…But singing and dancing and all that Who jazz…everything you would want out of a Broadway show. I love seeing all these local kids coming to the show every night. While I love spooking them, in the end, who knows, maybe they can help Cindy Lou make me a believer in Christmas and kindness and all that.
What is a misconception that you believe people have about the Grinch?
People think I get upset when people call me mean, but honestly, I quite enjoy it. They say my heart is two sizes too small. They compare me to a cactus and an eel, and I think that is lovely. I take no offense to these comparisons. I personally love eel! BUT there is one fix that always seems to do the trick. When I meet that adorable little Cindy Lou…I don’t know how or why, but she is just so darn sweet…she ALMOST makes me believe in Chr… Christm… ick. I can’t even say it.
What is your favorite thing about visiting Austin?
I hate Christmastime, the whole Christmas season…and I get to be here to steal your Christmas!
After all these years on tour with the Whos, I’ve never been to Austin, if you can believe it. It’s true what they say about Texas—everything is bigger here—including your joy and love of Christmas. Austin is just full of it. I find it all rather unnecessary, so every year, I like to visit cities around the country to remind everyone of this. And now it’s your turn. Hide yer presents…cuz I’m coming to steal them.
What is your favorite song within the musical?
Oh gosh, I’d have to say my SHOW STOPPER OF A NUMBER! ‘ONE OF A KIND’ IS MY FAVORITE SONG BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT ME AND STARRING ME. There is a song on the fireplace with Cindy Lou that all the mommas boo hoo about. And in the end she…well….I won’t spoil it. But she’s a sweet little girl.
If you had to pick a favorite character (other than yourself) who would that be?
Oh Max. My sweet boy. MAX, WHERE ARE YOU? MAAAAAAAAAAXXXXXXXXXX? He was just here. Anyway. Max is the best sidekick around, but he’s a mush for the Whos. He helps me out though and dresses like a reindeer pulling my sleigh when I go to and from stealing presents. He also helps to tell my story in the musical and reflects on all our years of adventures together.
Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas was originally created by three-time Tony Award winning director, Jack O’Brien. This production is directed by Matt August and choreographed by Bob Richard, based on the original choreography by John DeLuca.
Cover Photo Courtesy Motley Crew Media.
Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist, full-time marketer, and a Realtor®. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.