He’s a mean one. NBC is bringing Dr. Seuss to life this holiday season with a fun-filled two-hour production of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical! set to air Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT from the Troubadour Theatre in London. Matthew Morrison will star as the curmudgeonly Grinch.  

Dr. Seuss’ beloved classic children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has become a Christmas staple for generations. This musical version, with book and lyrics by Tim Mason and music by Mel Marvin and featuring the hit songs “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas (by Albert Hague & Dr. Seuss), breathes new life into this timely story. 

“Dr. Seuss is an indelible part of all of our lives and we’re thrilled to bring a stage production of ‘The Grinch Musical!’ to our audience,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs, NBC Entertainment. “This is a perfect addition to our annual holiday program traditions and a telecast the entire family will enjoy.”

“In what has been an extremely challenging year for us all, it is an honor to bring some holiday cheer into viewers’ homes this December,” Morrison said. “My wish is to bring some Who-ville magic to this holiday season and, while the pandemic presents some challenges in bringing a stage production to life, we are excited to present a unique version of this seasonal favorite in a new creative and imaginative way.”

Dr. Seuss’ famous book tells the story of a reclusive Grinch who plotted from his cave atop snowy Mt. Crumpit to steal Christmas from the Whos in Who-ville. Then on Christmas Eve, disguised as Santa Claus and enlisting his loyal dog Max as a reindeer, the Grinch traveled to Who-ville to scoop up the Whos’ gifts and decorations. Much to his surprise on Christmas morning, the Whos were unfazed and celebrated the holiday with a heartwarming display of joy and love.

Additional cast will include Denis O’Hare (Big Little Lies) as old Max, Booboo Stewart (Descendants 3) as young Max and newcomer Amelia Minto (The Lost Girls) as Cindy-Lou Who.  Producers have also assembled an ensemble of top musical theater actors from London’s West End to complete the cast.

The lush and whimsical staging by award-winning director Max Webster, directed for television by BAFTA winner Julia Knowles, with additional script material by BAFTA-winning writer Simon Nye and featuring sets by acclaimed designer Peter Bingemann, will set the mood for a beautiful holiday celebration.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

All photos courtesy of NBC

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