Glee star Matthew Morrison is going green for the holidays this year, as the Tony-nominated performer will lead a new TV musical special based on the classic Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dubbed Dr. Seuss’ the Grinch Musical, the special will air on NBC on Dec. 9. Morrison will star as the titular Christmas-stealer, and the show will also co-star Tony winner Denis O’Hare (Big Little Lies) as old Max, Booboo Stewart (Descendents 3) as young Max, and Amelia Minto (The Lost Girls) as Cindy-Lou Who.
“While the pandemic presents some challenges in bringing the stage musical to life, we are putting together a really special show with some crazy, fun, imaginative things going on,” Matthew Morrison said of the upcoming musical this week on The Today Show.
“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,” adds NBC Entertainment executive vice president of special programs Doug Vaughan. “This is a perfect addition to our annual holiday program traditions and a telecast the entire family will enjoy.”
The original storybook version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas was first published in 1957. It follows a green grump known as the Grinch, a loner who despises everything about the Christmas holiday. Hoping to put an end to the special day, the Grinch steals Christmas items from the town of Whoville on Christmas Eve, but after his heart grows three sizes, the irritable creature comes to change his mind.
In 1966, How the Grinch Stole Christmas was adapted into an animated television movie. Boris Karloff stars as the voice of the Grinch in addition to narrating the story. New songs with lyrics were recorded for the animated special, including the often-quoted tune, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Over a decade later, the Grinch returned in the TV movie sequel Halloween Is Grinch Night with Hans Conried taking over the role.
Jim Carrey also famously provided his own take on the iconic role in a live-action movie version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2000. Along with striking big at the box office, the movie was well received by audiences and is regularly revisited by many fans every holiday season. More recently, a computer-animated reboot called The Grinch was released in theaters, this time featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the green cave-dweller. This version achieved even greater success, grossing over $511 million worldwide to become the highest-grossing holiday movie of all time.
As The Grinch appears to be more popular than ever, it’s no surprise to see NBC turning to the classic Dr. Seuss story for a new adaptation. The Grinch is also just the latest story to get a televised musical treatment from NBC. Other major shows to get a live production on the network include The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, Hairspray, The Wiz, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical will air on NBC on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. ET. This news comes to us from The Today Show.