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SAN DIEGO (October 29, 2020)—The Old Globe announced today that its 23rd annual production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! will be presented by KPBS Radio in San Diego as a free audio-only production. Due to the ongoing pandemic, The Old Globe is unable to produce the San Diego favorite on its stage this year. The free audio production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radiowill pivot this San Diego tradition to a new form, giving San Diegans the chance to continue their holiday season visit with The Grinch, and introducing this beloved production to many for the first time. The performance can be heard on the radio in San Diego on KPBS 89.5 FM and can be streamed live on the KPBS website, on the KPBS app, and on smart speakers on Thursday, November 26 (Thanksgiving Day) at 12:00 noon; Saturday, December 5 at 12:00 noon; Sunday, December 20 at 12:00 noon; and Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) at 6:00 p.m. All times are Pacific Standard Time (PT).
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. The family favorite features the songs “Santa for a Day,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and “Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze),” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays with the Whos and The Old Globe.
The audio-only Grinch production is directed by James Vásquez, with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin. The original production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was conceived and directed by Jack O’Brien with additional lyrics by Theodor S. Geisel, additional music by Albert Hague, and original choreography by John DeLuca.
Edward Watts returns to the Globe after receiving critical acclaim and delighting audiences as The Grinch the last three years. Watts recently starred as Harold Hill in The Music Man at Goodspeed Musicals and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Broadway Sacramento/Music Circus. His Broadway and New York credits include Scandalous, Finian’s Rainbow, It’s a Bird...It’s a Plane...It’s Superman, The Fantasticks, The Most Happy Fella, and the acclaimed PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” Show Boat with the New York Philharmonic. Tommy Martinez will once again scale Mt. Crumpit as Young Max. He has been seen in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, on the national tour of Kinky Boots, and on Broadway in Newsies. Returning to play Old Max will be John Treacy Egan, whose Broadway credits include My Fair Lady (Lincoln Center Theater), Casa Valentina (Manhattan Theatre Club), Nice Work If You Can Get It, Sister Act, The Little Mermaid, The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde, and Bye Bye Birdie.
The complete cast and creative team will be announced at a later date. See below for select bios.
“It’s impossible to imagine the holidays in San Diego without the Globe’s production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and we were not about to let the coronavirus make a Grinchy move of its own and take this grand tradition away from us,” said The Old Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “With our friends at KPBS, we are taking a bold step into the world of radio theatre, and this bright, fun, and touching musical is a perfect way to start. The intimacy of radio and its broad, easy access will bring this great show to a huge, new San Diego audience and will spread the magic of theatre and the healing spirit of Dr. Seuss around our region at a time when both could not be more needed. Our virtual tree lighting and our virtual sensory-friendly work will extend The Grinch’s reach even further. We are pleased to acknowledge the generosity of the late Audrey S. Geisel as we make theatre matter to more and more people by transforming the challenge of the pandemic into an opportunity to bring the beauty of storytelling and the humanity of Dr. Seuss to the widest possible community.”
“KPBS is thrilled to partner with The Old Globe to bring Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio to our San Diego airwaves,” said Tom Karlo, General Manager of KPBS. “It reminds me of when families would gather around the radio to listen to entertaining storytelling. Today the radio experience has expanded via smart speakers, web streams, the KPBS app, and traditional radio devices. I hope that in whatever manner families listen, they feel their hearts grow three sizes with joy in hearing this iconic story and sharing the experience alongside their community.”
The 15th annual Globe Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place virtually Sunday, November 22 at 6:00 p.m. PT on the Globe’s website and social media channels. The ceremony, which has also become an annual tradition for thousands of San Diegans as they kick off the holiday season, is a fun event for the whole family. This year’s virtual event will feature songs, videos, and special hellos from favorite company members from the last 22 years. Join Grinch director James Vásquez and The Grinch himself for the final countdown to the lighting of the tree.
Designed by Grinch scenic designer John Lee Beatty, the unique tree will be located in the center of the Globe’s Copley Plaza and will remain through December 31, 2020. Holiday photos can be taken in front of the tree each evening. Everyone is strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing on the Globe’s Copley Plaza.
This year The Old Globe brings its Sensory-Friendly Grinch AXIS event online. For the second consecutive year, The Old Globe is partnering with music group Jungle Poppins (who will give a very special musical presentation!), Autism Society San Diego, and Banding Together. This special event will be hosted by Old Globe Teaching Artist and Inclusion Specialist Samantha Ginn and by Reid Moriarty, lead singer of Jungle Poppins and Ability Awareness Ambassador. It will feature an inclusive workshop led by Ginn and a presentation of an original holiday-inspired play from our Sensory-Friendly Community Voices workshop. Join us live online on Sunday, December 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon PT on The Old Globe’s YouTube channel for some holiday cheer!
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio is supported in part by Terry Atkinson and Kathy Taylor, The Binford Family, Ann Davies, George C. Guerra, United, Pamela Wagner and Hans Tegebo, and The Wickline Family. Grinch Free Student Matinee programs are supported by Dee Anne and Michael Canepa and Random House Children’s Books. An anonymous donor is supporting Edward Watts in the role of The Grinch.
Note: All in-person Globe productions and events have been postponed until further notice; all dates are subject to change. In the meantime, the Globe develops and presents a wide array of free online programs to continue reaching the San Diego community. These currently include a free commissioned short-plays project Play At Home and The Old Globe Coloring Book. Current arts engagement programs include the exploration of modern poetry The Poet’s Tree; Voces de la Comunidad, the Spanish-language version of Community Voices, our popular playwriting program; collaborative Mad Libs–style program Word Up!; and Creative Youth Studio, a series of professional development opportunities for youth and high-school theatre enthusiasts; new middle school and high school Globe to Go focused resources, a part of School in the Park, which offers free downloadable K–5 resources for teaching; season 2 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV, a digital version of the transformative initiative offered at prisons; and Behind the Curtain: Art of Protest. Coming soon is our sixth annual AXIS event Day of the Dead/Día de Muertos.
Programs and videos archived on our website at www.TheOldGlobe.org and on our YouTube channel, available for viewing at any time from the comfort of your home, including the world premiere of Bill Irwin’s In-Zoom; On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group; outreach from familiar Globe artists in Act Breaks and Flashbacks; Soap It Up with students from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program; and Barry Edelstein’s hit presentation Thinking Shakespeare Live! and his series Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! Archived arts engagement programs include the Community Voices playwriting workshop; Behind the Curtain and its offshoots, the Spanish-language Detrás del Telón and Behind the Curtain: Technical Assistance forum; check-in program with Globe-commissioned playwrights Playwrights Unstuck; The Living Room Play Workshop; and season 1 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV.
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An updated guide to our free online theatre programs,
as well as videos of those programs, are available here.
You can also watch our videos on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/TheOldGlobe.
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PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at www.theoldglobe.org/press-room.
The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 85th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and the Audrey S. Geisel Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!—have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.
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Edward Watts (The Grinch) is honored and delighted to be returning as The Grinch for his third time. Since last year, he revisited two of his favorite roles: Harold Hill in The Music Man at Goodspeed Musicals (Connecticut Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Actor – Musical), and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Broadway Sacramento/Music Circus, where he shared the stage with his amazing wife Sarah Meahl, who is in this production! His Broadway and New York credits include Robert and David in Scandalous, Superman in It’s a Bird...It’s a Plane...It’s Superman, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Joe in The Most Happy Fella, and Steve in Lincoln Center’s Show Boat. He also appeared on tour as Joseph Smith, Jesus, and Mission President in The Book of Mormon; Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Enjolras in Les Misérables, and King Triton in The Little Mermaid. Watts’s favorite regional credits include Joe Bradley in Roman Holiday (Guthrie Theater), Javert in Les Misérables (Dallas Theater Center), Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music (Michigan Opera Theatre), Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed Musicals), and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Shakespeare Theatre Company; Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical). He has been seen on television in “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Quantico,” “The Sopranos,” “Rescue Me,” “The Carrie Diaries,” and “All My Children.” He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. EdwardWatts.net, @Watts5th.
John Treacy Egan (Old Max) recently appeared on Broadway in My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater. He has many other Broadway credits, including the Tony Award–nominated Casa Valentina at Manhattan Theatre Club. He played Chief Berry in Nice Work If You Can Get It and created the roles of Joey in Sister Act and Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid. He played Max Bialystock, as well as Roger De Bris and Franz Liebkind, in The Producers. And he was an original cast member of Jekyll & Hyde and Roundabout Theatre Company’s Bye Bye Birdie. Off Broadway, Egan created roles in Clinton The Musical, Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly, Disaster!, and Bat Boy: The Musical. He has appeared on television in “Gotham,” “Younger,” “The Good Wife,” “The Knick,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Nurse Jackie,” “30 Rock,” “Cupid,” and “Law & Order,” and he was in the films Last Night and The Producers. He can be heard on many theatrical recordings as well as his own solo albums Count the Stars and On Christmas Morning, whichare available on iTunes and cdbaby.com.
Tommy Martinez (Young Max) is thrilled to have a dream come true and get to work at The Old Globe again. You may have seen him in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, on the national tour of Kinky Boots, or on Broadway in Newsies. Thanks to Nimmy, Mom, Nana, Dad, and Cricket. @atleastimfunny on Instagram, @leastimfunny on Twitter.
James Vásquez (Director) recently directed the West Coast premieres of Hurricane Diane and Tiny Beautiful Things and the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe, where he has also directed Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show and provided musical staging and movement for several additional productions. His directing and choreography credits also include work at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company, and Dallas Theater Center, as well as developmental workshops for La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. He is the recipient of the Craig Noel Award for his productions In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). Vásquez is an amateur gardener, lover of dogs, and graduate of The Juilliard School.
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