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Interview:
"The Grinch" musical at The Fox, 3 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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The title character’s heart always warms at the end of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” But fortunately for us it subsequently chills over the interim so Dr. Seuss’ much-loved holiday tale can be repeated every year -- as it has been since the story was first published 60 years ago.

“Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” has become a holiday stage tradition, debuting in Minneapolis during 1994 and on Broadway during 2006 and touring since 2008, with Dr. Seuss’ lyrics set to music by Mel Marvin and Albert Hague. It makes its third visit to Detroit this weekend, and Joshua Rosenblum, a University of Michigan graduate and one of the musical’s producers for Running Subway in New York, talks about its enduring appeal to theatergoers of all ages...

• Rosenblum, 56, says that “Grinch” continues to work because of the original source material. “The key is Dr. Seuss; None of this happens without his ability to distill a world that is pure enough for the story to take place, sort of crazy but familiar enough so that it has resonance,” he explains. It also helps that it’s been a popular book -- as well as a TV cartoon and feature film -- over the years. “The character has been around long enough so there’s parents and grandparents that are enjoying it with the kids,” Rosenblum adds.

• Rosenblum also feels that the “Grinch” story “is a little subversive. It works for boys. It works for girls. It works for grandparents. It feels timeless because it’s so otherworldly, but the sentiment kind of rings true in the same way ‘A Christmas Carol’ works, that moment when the world subtly shifts and a heart is changed occurs, and I think all great family entertainment kind of has that moment. ‘Annie’ has that moment at the end. ‘The Secret Garden’ has that moment. That’s kind of the key. If you do it well enough, people actually care.”

• So how did Rosenblum, who got his degree at U-M in industrial engineering and wanted to go into aerospace, wind up as a theater producer? “Theater was something I enjoyed doing, so I started doing that right away when I got to Michigan,” says Rosenblum, whose son is a freshman in Ann Arbor this fall. “The first thing Michigan taught me was I wasn’t a good actor, so I kind of slipped into producing and I even formed a little production company and made a little money on that, and after I got my degree I had enough left over to open my first office in New York and haven’t looked back since.”



• If You Go: “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” runs Friday through Sunday, Nov. 17-19, at The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $35-$75. Call 313-471-6611 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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