Growing up with the Grinch

One of my favorite books (and television cartoons) from Christmases past

For those of us born into the world that considered color television a high-tech wonder, certain holiday cartoons bring back warm childhood memories.

There’s Linus, waiting with his blanket for the “Great Pumpkin” to appear. Rudolph the reindeer fretting over his blinking nose. Charlie Brown choosing a humble Christmas tree.

For me, it’s Cindy Lou Who waddling around on Christmas Eve in her little pink pajamas, holding a red ornament that’s fallen from her Christmas tree mid-heist.

The thief, of course, is the Grinch — who hopes to steal not only every trace of Christmas, but the very heart of hope and love that it celebrates.

When the movie version starring Jim Carrey was released several years ago, I just couldn’t bring myself to see it. With Ron Howard directing, I’m sure it’s a perfectly wonderful bit of movie magic.

But I want to think of Cindy Lou Who — and the serene, singing folks of Dr. Seuss’ Whoville — when I conjure memories of Christmas past. Carrey, though wildly talented, simply isn’t as cute.

Still, I’m keeping an open mind about the touring production of “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,” which runs at ASU Gammage in Tempe Nov 17 to 21.

Stefan Karl Stefansson and fellow cast members of "The Grinch" musical playing for a short time only at ASU Gammage in Tempe (Photo: PaparazziByAppointment.com)

The Grinch is none other than Stefan Karl Stefansson, an Icelandic actor your children may know as Nick, Jr.’s “Lazytown” villain, Robbie Rotten.

I’ll be seeing the show Thursday evening (Wednesday evening found me at a Mesa Cinemark movie theater for a special engagement showing of “The Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert”).

I’ll update this post with a review of sorts once I’ve experienced the Grinch in all his glory.

In the meantime, learn more about this enchanting story — and the Broadway version — by visiting the ASU Gammage website at asugammage.com (where “Gammage Goer” reviews get posted).

To enjoy a lovely walk down memory lane in the land of Dr. Seuss, visit his Random House website at seussville.com. It features information for parents and educators as well as games and activities for children.

And don’t forget about the touring production’s website at grinchmusical.com. It’s got the scoop on cast and creative team, as well as its own set of seriously fun activities.

Today’s children can still enjoy the mid-60′s classic that many of their parents grew up with. But why not add the enchanting experience of a live theater production?

No one has to know you’re the real kid at heart sitting in the audience…

— Lynn

Note: ASU Gammage has several special offers and opportunities for theater patrons, so click here to learn more about unique offerings related to “The Grinch.”

Coming up: Days of double posts as “Stage Mom” hits high gear to cover the Valley’s many holiday offerings in dance, music, theater and more. Once you’ve enjoyed “The Grinch” with your family, there’s plenty more to explore.

Update: I’m spending Thursday evening in “Nurse Mom” rather than “Stage Mom” mode — so when you see the show, why not add a comment below with your favorite moments from “The Grinch” at ASU Gammage. Thanks!

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