He’s a Mean One, but a Charmer – The Grinch Musical

Segerstrom Center - L to R - Brance Cornelius, Serena Brook, Brooke Lynn Boyd, Stefan Karl, Rebecca Prescott and Ryan Knowles - Photo by PaparazziByAppointment

She did it! 90 minutes of no-intermission and not a tear in her eye or a whine in her voice. No, not Athena! She clapped loudly after every scene and sat wide-eyed with excitement as the Grinch won her heart along with Cindy Lou’s.

Last night, we attended Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and it showed me that children are more capable than we give them credit for.

It was Athena’s first full-length musical and I worried that she wouldn’t be able to sit still or quiet long enough to enjoy the production. It didn’t even start until 7:30 pm which is normally her bed time. Was I setting us up for a meltdown at Segerstrom Center? I had to try. I love musicals, ballet, and any form of theater, especially during the holiday season. I want to experience it with Athena and Darren at my side.

The first scene opened with the Whos singing and dancing. Athena climbed up on my lap and watched them move beautifully and happily around the stage. She smiled and clapped longer than anyone else in the theater. She was mesmerized.

Segerstrom Center - GRINCH Company - Stefan Karl as The Grinch. Photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com

When the Grinch came on stage, she sat back against me. I was worried. Was she going to cry? She doesn’t like scary things. She almost cries every time she sees a mask and Halloween wasn’t an exception. After a couple minutes, I peeked over her shoulder to look at the expression on her face. She was laughing at the silly Grinch. (I think it was the farting that really put him on her good side.) Even during the darker scenes, she didn’t flinch.

Segerstrom Center - GRINCH Company - Photo by PaparazziByAppointment.com_1

The song “Welcome Christmas” was her favorite part. She hummed along and asked if I could play it for her on the way home. Alas, we didn’t even get out of the parking lot and she was fast asleep. The first words out of her mouth this morning were, “Can we listen to The Grinch now?” We’ve been playing it all day. (You can go to http://www.grinchmusical.com/ and listen to all the songs on the site.)

Rather than assuming Athena is too young for theater, I decided to take her along and learn from experience. It was a great decision and it has excited me about the possibilities. She may be a child, but that doesn’t mean we need to live a life of restrictions. We’ll continue to explore the world together.


What: Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical”

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10; 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12; 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13; 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Cost: Tickets start at $29

Information: (714) 556-2787 or visit scfta.org

23 thoughts on “He’s a Mean One, but a Charmer – The Grinch Musical

  1. I don’t enjoy anything as much as live theater.
    I assume Athena has seen the cartoon? Whatever, the case may be, I’m always thrilled when young children prove me wrong. I guess we sometimes don’t give them enough credit. 🙂


  2. Hi Lesley, I recall going to see a show and the Rockettes at a very early age! Some other Broadway productions also in NYC. They are not vivid memories, I recall bits and pieces. Glad you all had a great time! Cheryl


  3. I learned long ago that the earlier you expose your children to the things you enjoy (within reason of course) the better. That way these things become part of their lives too, so they do not know any different. For example travelling; you cannot put a 5 year old in a car for a first long distance trip and expect them to cope well. We started travelling with our two oldest sons when they were very young, stopping lots for them to run around etc, and they never complained through the years…


    • I couldn’t agree more. Athena has been traveling long distances in cars, planes, and trains since she was three days old. She did her first cross-country road trip at 3 months and her first international flight before she was a month. It’s as normal as going to the park for her now. Although I say this is her first theater production, we use to take her all the time before she was a year old. She’d just sleep through the performance. This was her first as a active toddler where she actually stayed awake; and now we’re going to The Nutcracker tomorrow 😉 How old are you kids now?


  4. I remember taking my daughter to the university’s production of The Nutcracker. Sewed her a special dress and we enjoyed our date together. Live performances and theatre and children do work well and make amazing memories.


  5. Wow so wonderful! way to go, Athenna! How old is she now? I’ve always wanted to take my daughter to see theater performance, but seems like it’s the dad whom I should be convincing at the moment.


  6. I’ve taken my children to the theater and movies since they were infants. They’ve also been going to restaurants since that young. Early on, when they acted up we removed them quickly and they soon learned. Of course the grandparents being easy “targets” had to be “educated” too on occasion. Congrats to Athena on her first theater experience. Here’s to many more!


  7. sweet – love the music too – glad it kept some of the cartoon vibe – the Stole site give 30 sec samples of the songs not whole songs – but the cd is easy enough to find –


  8. That is so wonderful! I wanted to take my girly to one of The Nutcracker performances in town as she loves Ballerinas but decided against it. Wish I would have taken thr chance after reading this! Next year!!


  9. What a fun musical to be a first! I worried about the same thing when I took my boys to see The Nutcracker (mostly because it’s a ballet) but even with my youngest only being around 4 years old, my oldest 6, they loved it! Calamity Jane was another one that had them mesmerized and laughing. Live theater is so much more engaging than movies on television, even for us adults, so it’s no wonder children take to it so well. I’m glad your family had fun and thanks for stirring up the nostalgic memories by sharing!


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