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Monday, November 19 2018 13:06

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical Brings Magic to the Chicago Theatre and Beyond...

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A familiar green villain is currently back in theaters, reimagined in Universal and Illumination's animated picture, THE GRINCH. But that's not the only place to see the tale come to life as Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical brings magic to the stage in select cities for 2018. Madison Square Garden's touring production is the big one, featuring Tony-nominated Gavin Lee (SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical, Mary Poppins) in the lead role as The Grinch. Kicking off at The Chicago Theatre (November 16-25) before heading off to Boston and New York, my family and I were guests at the opening night performance in Chicago as holiday cheer took hold to a sold-out crowd.

The Grinch

By now, most audiences are familiar with the tale - with generations split on where they first heard it. Whether the 1957 book, the 1966 animated special or the 2000 live-action film starring Jim Carrey, the general outline is the same - a lonely outcast looks upon the village of Who-Ville with disdain for all the happy Whos who celebrate Christmas without him. 

The Grinch

While the background on why the Grinch became The Grinch varies a bit between each adaptation, The Musical focuses its energy on the now - dropping the weight and keeping things festive. Lee is fantastic, inhabiting the fur with ease and making you believe that he truly is The Grinch. Most impressive is how the old and new come together seamlessly to combine elements of the animated special and live-action tellings with flourishes that could only work when applied to the live stage. 

For friends in Chicago, do try to catch How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Chicago Theatre if you can. It's one of my favorite venues, and I can't think of a better place to usher in the holiday season than on State Street!

Tickets available now through MSG, Ticketmaster and The Chicago Theatre Box Office. Not in Chicago? Check out GrinchMusical.com to find a production near you!

The Grinch

Production Photos by Jordan Bush. 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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