Seuss: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Lakeview Orchestra will perform Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on Tuesday, December 18th at 7:30PM at the Athenaeum Theatre.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has been a holiday classic since its publication in 1957. Written in rhymed verse and illustrated by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel (1904-1991), the story follows the Grinch, a grouchy, solitary creature who attempts to put an end to Christmas by stealing Christmas-themed items from the homes of the nearby town Whoville on Christmas Eve. Despite his efforts, Whoville's inhabitants still celebrate the holiday. Touched by this display, the Grinch returns everything that he stole and is welcomed as the guest of honor at the Whos' Christmas dinner. Geisel later recalled, "I got hung up getting the Grinch out of the mess. I got into a situation where I sounded like a second-rate preacher or some biblical truism. Finally in desperation, without making any statement whatever, I showed the Grinch and the Whos together at the table, and made a pun of the Grinch carving the 'roast beast.' I had gone through thousands of religious choices, and then after three months it came out like that.”
New York Times children’s book editor Ellen Lewis Buell praised the book's handling of its moral, as well as its illustrations and verse. She wrote, "Even if you prefer Dr. Seuss in a purely antic mood, you must admit that if there's a moral to be pointed out, no one can do it more gaily. The reader is swept along by the ebullient rhymes and the weirdly zany pictures until he is limp with relief when the Grinch reforms and, like the latter, mellow with good feelings."
Capitalizing on the book’s immense popularity, MGM and NBC produced an animated TV special of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” with music by Albert Hague (1920-2001) and Eugene Poddany (1919-1984). The show aired on December 18, 1966, narrated by Boris Karloff with memorable bass vocals performed by Thurl Ravenscroft (the familiar voice of Tony the Tiger).
Program notes by Luke Smith.