Of course The Grinch steals the show while stomping about the stage alive and well in fine form for the holidays with a Broadway visit in Chicago.
The national Broadway tour of "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" at Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., runs through Nov. 29.
Yep, the opulent surroundings of the Chicago Theatre is the only place I know where you can be part of an indoor snowstorm and join in a community sing-along of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch."
Detailed and spirited for a "by the book" retelling of the classic storybook and the 1966 original animated holiday TV special (which starred the late great Boris Karloff as the voice of the Grinch), this version uses a reflective narrator in the form of an older version of the Grinch's hound pal Max (solid actor Ken Land) to help the plot unfold and move it along.
Running 90 minutes without any intermission, both children and adults will love this fun and fast-paced visit that lets the audience visit both Whoville and the Grinch's bleak cave.
Everyone has a "Grinch" moment and this musical reminds the importance of keeping the true meaning of the holidays in your heart.
Actor Shuler Hensley stars as a very menacing Grinch. (See my columnist colleague Eloise Valadez interview with the Broadway actor on today's Daybreak, Page A12.)
Hensley, who is not only green, but sports some girth under all that fur, brings the character to life, offering proof that anyone can have a change of a heart.
Actor Aleksa Kurbalija offers a dog-gone adorable turn as the younger incarnation of his ever-faithful hound dog, Max.
Young actress Presley Ryan is picture perfect (and vocally pitch perfect) as the wide-eyed Cindy-Lou Who, the little girl who helps The Grinch get his due.
After seeing this light-hearted musical at Friday's press opening, it's easy to see how "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" broke box office records for two consecutive years on Broadway in New York during its holiday engagements at The St. James (2007) and The Hilton (2006) theaters.
The costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss' original illustrations also are works of art, while the music and book of Mel Marvin and Timothy Mason are classic. The 2014 production is directed by Matt August and choreographed by Bob Richard based on the original choreography by John DeLuca and originally created by three-time Tony Award winning director Jack O'Brien.
Give yourself an early holiday gift and pay The Grinch a visit before be leaves the Windy City.