Theater review by Regina Robbins
Matthew Lombardo fought Dr. Seuss’s estate for the right to stage Who’s Holiday!, and it’s no great mystery why. Directed by Carl Andress, this irreverent, adults-only sequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas! stars the wacky and wonderful Lesli Margherita as Cindy Lou Who, the little girl from the original tale, now middle-aged and living alone in a trailer. A booze-swilling bottle blonde, Cindy Lou has been through the wringer since that long-ago night when she first met the Grinch, whom she went on to marry. Long story short, it didn’t go well. And it looks like her upcoming holiday party will also be a disappointment; she gets blown off by a menagerie of her old friends, from Yertle the Turtle to Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose.
Written in rhyming couplets, Who’s Holiday! works best when it dares to be as tasteless as possible while replicating Seuss’s trademark rhythms: “I need to cheer myself up. I’ll just take out my stash,” Cindy Lou tells the audience, “Have any of you smoked a pipe filled with Who Hash?” Margherita is flawless, juggling comedy, musical interludes and audience interaction like a champ. But Lombardo can’t resist the temptation to tug at our heartstrings, turning what begins as a cheeky antidote to holiday humbug into a yuletide bummer with a pat hopeful ending. The Whos down in Whoville might approve, but who cares? We humans are there for the dick jokes.
Westside Theatre (Off Broadway). By Matthew Lombardo. Directed by Carl Andress. With Lesli Margherita. Running time: 1hr. No intermission. Through Dec 31.
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